Canada lags in waiting times

A new study indicates that Canada is falling behind other leading Commonwealth countries in addressing waiting times for healthcare despite throwing gobs of money at the problem. The study compared waiting-time reduction strategies in five Commonwealth nations: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand and Wales. The research indicated that England has done the best job of reducing waiting times. It set a maximum waiting time of 18 weeks - from referral from a general practitioner, through to treatment for a wide range of surgical procedures. In Canada the feds and the provinces have a 5.5-billion agreement vowing "to achieve meaningful reductions in wait times" in five priority areas - joint replacement, cardiac care, cancer, cataracts and diagnostic imaging. But there are no firm targets and most provinces do not even agree on the definition of a waiting time.

Harper in tie with Liberals:Cons stalled

Latest Strategic Counsel poll of party support shows Haper and the Conservatives have dropped to low low 30s in popular support and are now tied with Liberals at 31%. The poll revealed that discomfort with Harper's Conservatives is deepening among women, francophones and wealthier Canadians. Part of this is explained by deepening concern about Canadian casualties in Afghanistan. Harper is paying now for his pugnacious stance on the Afghanistan war and his alliance with Bush's policies. In recent days he has begun to acknowledge that the nature of the Canadian commitment could change in February 2009. Whether that will affect voters' perceptions remains to be seen. In any event the environment and healthcare outrank terrorism as priority concerns among Canadians. And the Conservatives are not exactly shining on either of these files.


Hillier blocks release of detainee info

Why is General Rick Hillier preventing the release of detainee information under Access to Information Act? The Globe and Mail reports that the office of General Hillier has halted the release of any documents relating to detainees captured in Afghanistan under the federal Access to Information Act, claiming that disclosure of any such information could endanger Canadian troops. Apparently the flow of documents about detainees has virtually dried up and the department has summarily rejected requests for the same kind of documents it released earlier.

What is General Hillier trying to hide? I thought Canadians were fighting and dying in Afghanistan to preserve freedom. This is rather ironic in light of this denial of the basic right to freedom of information here in Canada.

Madonna Live Earth video (Hey You)

Madonna gave a tremendous performance at the London Live Earth concert. Perhaps the best was Hey You. Here's the video from You Tube



Washington Post slams Live Earth London concert

I spent much of yesterday watching the telecasts/internet live coverage of Live Earth concerts around the globe. Thanks to CTV we got telecast excerpts from most of the concerts. In general I was impressed with this awareness raising exercise.

This morning I was surprised to read a rather snide attack on the Live Earth London concert in the Washington Post/Live Earth London's Glacial Pacing.

The reporter draws attention to the carbon output of the Live Earth concerts;

"John Buckley of Carbon Footprint, an organization that helps companies reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, said Saturday that Live Earth will produce about 74,500 tons of the gas.
"We would have to plant 100,000 trees to offset the effect of Live Earth," he said, speaking by telephone. But, he added, "if you can reach 2 billion people and raise awareness, that's pretty fantastic."

But other quotes show the lack of awareness of the implications of climate change by some concert attendees. This just demonstrates the need for events like these.


Blogging Tips/Advertising

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Bush Compares Iraq to US War of Independence

Speaking on July 4th George Bush compared the war in Iraq to the US War of Independence. Has he finally lost his marbles, assuming he once had some?

How does the occupation of Iraq by a foreign power and the overthrow of its government resemble the revolution by American patriots against a foreign despot, the King of England?