I find that I have written more times to my MPP since Doug Ford became Premier than at any other time that I can remember. I received another letter recently from Steve Clark, MPP, in response to my objecting to the possibility that the Ford government was going to privatize Health Care in this province.
I was assured by Mr. Clark that any Health Care privatization was not in the cards. I did not believe him, as Conservative governments have consistently screwed over the people who put them into power in favour of their buddies in the corporate world who fund them.
Bill 74 has unfortunately proved me correct. This appalling piece of legislation, going under the guise of “restructuring” Health Care in this province, proposes a “Super Agency” to be run by Ford’s corporate cronies, who are going to be unaccountable to the people they are meant to serve, as all decisions made by them will be behind closed doors. To add insult to injury, Ford is also proposing unrestricted power for himself to privatize Health Care.
As everyone probably knows, there is a shortage of hospital beds in the province. Ontario has the fewest hospital beds per capita of any developed nation, plus we have more than 33,000 elderly seniors waiting for long term care beds. Bill 74 does nothing to alleviate either of these shortages.
“For the People”? I think not. More like “Fool the People”.
I am really disappointed with our MPP. He must know that there is little to no public support for privatizing our Health Care, yet he seemingly thinks privatisation is a good idea. The tinkering that this government has done to Health Care already has the parents of kids with autism up in arms, so does he not care about the backlash that he is going to get with the privatization of one of our most cherished social programs? It is bizarre that the Americans are looking to emulate our current Health Care system, while this government is moving towards emulating theirs.
I don’t know of anyone who supports privatizing our Health Care system. This government keeps trotting out their same old mantra about keeping taxes down, when what they are really after is making sure that their corporate masters get access to our cherished social programs. When this happens, it is generally at the expense of those who will suffer the most by taking away the services that they depend on.
Right-wing populists like Ford are illusionists. They misdirect public attention to a distraction, (remember Ford’s ridiculous buck-a-beer promise?), then play a sleight of hand. The distractions are either a crisis or a mirage. So far, along with Health Care, Ford and his lackeys have gone after climate change, education, the Greenbelt, the Endangered Species Act, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to name but a few. I don’t remember any of this being in the Conservative platform, not that they really had one. That was another of Ford’s illusions.
When I moved to this community three years ago, I was impressed by the amount of groups involved in fundraising for those less fortunate. I am also puzzled as to why these same caring people who provide this help are often Conservative Party supporters. It is the policies of governments like the one that we have now that put many people into a predicament where they have to ask for handouts.
It all seems ironic. We should be supporting governments that have the policies that would make these fundraising groups unnecessary, but while we keep electing right-wing demagogues, it will only get worse.