Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Liberal Attack Ad Will Back Ignatieff Into Corner

Nice to see Kinsella thinks the new Liberal attack ad is great. I guess the high ground got washed away under Ignatieff, but I digress. I actually really like the ad, but for a completely different reason. Liberals are looking at getting walloped in Quebec, according to Chantel Hebert in her column in the Star. So when one looks at the ad, it claims quotes from Stephen Harper show him as one who would undermine Canadian health care. The one quote that stands out is this:

"Private, for profit health care (Hansard 10/01/2002)

The problem Ignatieff now faces goes by the name of Gilles Duceppe, who's main claim to fame is having the federal government keep it's nose out of what Quebecer's feel is provincial jurisdiction. So one would surmise from the quote in the Liberal ad that Ignatieff is against private, for profit health care, right? Well, coming on the same day the Liberal Party announced Paul Martin would be joining the campaign, it looks as though Donolo might have just set up some land mines for Ignatieff. Why? Read this:

"Many provinces are following Alberta’s lead. Ontario announced in June 2005 a $30 billion public-private-partnership fund for new schools and hospitals. All this money will go to for-profit corporations. The Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver boasts that it is Canada’s “most advanced private surgical centre in Canada” with “more operating capacity than most BC hospitals.” It is proud of its record servicing “famous athletes and celebrities” and known for the outspoken private-sector advocacy of its founder, Dr. Brian Day – or “Dr. Profit,” as he is often referred to. British Columbia has 14 private clinics, which looked after 50,000 paying customers in 2004.

Montreal was labelled the “private health care capital of Canada” by the Montreal Gazette, which conducted an investigation in February 2005. There is a “parallel system for the wealthy” in that city, said the newspaper, which reported that 90 doctors in Quebec have opted out of medicare, more than in all other provinces combined. One of them, Dr. Sheldon Elmer, is Prime Minister Paul Martin’s doctor. There are at least a dozen private medical imaging clinics and a number of knee and hip replacement clinics. The going rate for hip replacement is between $14,000 and $18,000. Montreal also has the first private emergency clinic and was, not surprisingly, the launching pad for the Supreme Court challenge.

So will Michael Ignatieff denounce the private. for profit health care in Quebec? Will he close private providers in Quebec? Will he tell Dalton McGuinty that Ontario cannot go ahead with the $30 billion private public-partnership? What about BC? Alberta?

More importantly, will any journalist question the contradiction of the Liberal attack ad and their 13 years in office? And will Ignatieff stand up for full public health care, risking backlash from Quebec voters?

I sure would like to know.


wilson said...

PMSH and Flaherty have said, since before the Budget, that the govt will not cut transfers to the provinces to balance the books, like the Chretien/Martin Liberals did.

That message has been out there, and repeated for 3 months.


and as for the 'absolute power' part of the attack ad,
if PMSH doesn't get 'absolute power', Iffy will.... and THAT is scary.

L said...

IFFY, Layton and the BLOC shuts out the entire west and good chunks of eastern canada! There will be riots! I will be there and with my retired friends who do not need the Liebral nanny state to steal my savings.

Gabby in QC said...

About that Hansard quote highlighted in the latest Liberal ad ...

Actual Stephen Harper quotes from speech in Hansard:
“... The key is that necessary health care must be available to every Canadian regardless of ability to pay. ...

... the federal government must work with the provinces ...

... the Liberals opposed provincial efforts to broaden health care delivery within publicly paid health systems by not just fighting plans for private facilities in various provinces but by demonizing the provinces pursuing these reforms. This was wrong. ...

A government monopoly is not the only way to deliver health care to Canadians. Monopolies in the public sector are just as objectionable as monopolies in the private sector. It should not matter who delivers health care, whether it is private, for profit, not for profit or public institutions, as long as Canadians have access to it regardless of their financial means.

We must become innovative in how we deliver care while holding fast to the principle of universal care regardless of ability to pay. ...”

To thus whittle down Stephen Harper's lengthy speech to "private, for profit" in that Liberal ad is an outright lie.

Gabby in QC said...

BTW, the voice-over in the Liberal ad says:
“He said the law that protects universal health care should be scrapped and he’s open to American-style private-for-profit health care.“

And there's this quote attributed to Harper: “It’s past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act” (G&M, 08/26/2010)

This is the actual quote I was able to find in the Globe & Mail:
“Before he entered politics, when he was vice-president of the National Citizens’ Coalition, Mr. Harper said: “It’s past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act.”

Mind you, I would like to find the actual reference from the NCC to see what Harper actually said in context.

If what Harper said when he was part of the NCC is fair game, then Ignatieff's support for the war in Iraq and the use of torture are fair game too.

Anonymous said...

Bob Rae cut doctor training and Paul Martin cut health care funding.

New Liberal attack ad:
"Stephen Harper might screw up health care as bad as we did, vote Liberal!"