by The Honourable A. Brian Peckford
July 30, 2023
In a Canadian Press Story dated July 28, 2023 the following are its opening words
‘EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says if a Calgary medical clinic begins charging a fee for faster access to a family doctor, it will be shut down, fined or have medicare payments from the province withheld.
Smith says her government is committed to the principles of the Canada Health Act that include patients not paying to access publicly funded services such as doctor visits.
“We won’t let it happen,” Smith told reporters in Calgary on Friday.
“I signed a protocol with the federal government for 10 years committing to the principles of the Canada Health Act. That means that you cannot charge to access insured services.
“If that’s what they are doing, they will be shut down, they will be fined, or we will withhold payments to them.”
Never mind that this system has delivered over 5 Million Canadians without a primary care provider and has some of the longest wait times in the OECD. And the covid disaster showed just how inept it all is. And that in terms of money , Canada spends per capita near the top in the OECD and near the bottom in terms of positive out comes.
So all you western Canadians who thought you were getting a fighting Premier for Provincial rights———-???? All those Provincial rights under the Constitution ??
Just some rights!!
Where we get gobs of money, oil and gas , it is ours under the constitution !!
When we have to spend gobs of money ——well it’s ours under the constitution but you Federal Government can intrude ———with money!
This has been true since the Canada Health Act was enacted in 1984.
Many thought that Premier Smith would not sign a new Health deal under this Act.
But she did , as have all the Provinces .
So you see our Constitution has become very elastic —as The Pandemic court decisions have demonstrated ——but they are only taking their example from those elected now aren’t they?
Rather than address head on the erosion of Provincial rights and call for a Constitutional Conference as permitted under the Amending Formula of the Constitution , the Provinces caved again.
This is the big elephant in the room that no one wants to discuss.
There was this faint hope that Smith was different. That some real change was possible and that Saskatchewan might help .
This past year Ottawa transferred $45 billion to the Provinces in Health Transfers—over $5.2 billion to Alberta. Meanwhile , Alberta announced a $11 billion surplus in this past years ‘ budget.
Confederation is crumbling —-as defined by the Constitution !