Doctor Poaching

For some time now Provinces like Saskatchewan, and others, rather than properly funding their own Canadian medical schools, have found it more convenient to poach doctors from other countries. Usually countries that can ill afford to lose any trained medical professionals.

It is more than a bit ironic, isn’t it, that those provinces’ medical associations are now expressing concern that the new rules concerning professional workers mobility will make it easier for other provinces to poach those recently recruited doctors from their small town practices to places like Calgary Toronto and Montreal.

What goes around comes around.


Chld Poverty, Canada's Shameful Record

The on-line newspaper The Australian reports that Australia has the third-worst childcare and early learning system in the developed world. The Australian story says, “Our early childhood services sit above only Canada and Ireland on a league table of OECD countries to be published Thursday by the United Nations' children's rights arm, UNICEF.

Using 10 benchmarks, including the amount of GDP spent on early childhood services, the availability of paid parental leave and the subsidies provided for childcare and education, the report ranks Mexico, Slovenia and Portugal higher than Australia.”

Australians should be outraged...Oh wait...what did they say? Australian “...early childhood services sit above only Canada and Ireland?” Slovenia does better that Canada? That doesn’t jibe with what that soft spoken, caring, blue sweater guy Harper told us during the election. I thought he was going to give us a government that cared.

The Government in the UK is embarrassed and claims outraged that the report puts them in the middle of the pack. They are protesting the fairness of the report, disputing its findings. So far we have heard, not a peep from our government. I can hear Harper now, “React? I don’t think so. Our constituents don’t read the Globe and Mail anyway. They never find out about it. And, he would be right if the Leader Post is any example. Not a word about it in that rag.

In fairness, the Liberals neglected children as well. Frankly, Canadians lack of activism has allowed governments to pay much more attention to business needs that to the most vulnerable in our society. We have all ignored the problem. Nineteen years ago the House of Commons unanimously resolved to "seek to achieve the goal of eliminating poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000."

Canada does not meet nine of out 10 proposed standards aimed at ensuring children get the best start in life through education and support programs, tying for last place, among affluent countries, with Ireland. That doesn’t give us much to be proud about.


I Miss Those Soft Gentle Snowfalls

I was thinking about snow today. Not that cold, wind blown, dry prairie snow but that light fluffy stuff you can catch on your tongue.

I was thinking about those evenings when you could convince your mother that your homework was done so you could grab your skates and stick and join a group of friends for a game of pick up hockey. Nothing too organized, no pads, no ref, just an outdoor rink, a couple of people's boots for goal posts was all we needed. We'd play in that soft falling snow until it became too hard to follow the puck, we'd shovel the rink and play some more.

At some point the town would turn off the rink lights and we'd have to quit. We'd wander home, tired, sweaty hair under our toques. I miss that soft snow.


Coalition Moves off into the Sunset

Ok, this is my last comment on the "action" in Ottawa, at least until the new year.

Bob Rae has withdrawn from the leadership race which gives Iggy clear sailing into the Liberal Leadership. Dion can now move off with whatever dignity he can muster and we await the next sitting of Parliament to see what happens. I would put big money on what ever does happen, won't include Jack Layton.

With Iggy firmly in power, the coalition will move off into the sunset.

Merry Christmas

Cypress Hills

After a week or so of hectic political Drama and frantic blogging by many people, we drove up to the Cypress Hills for the weekend. I always forget what a great spot it is. Just a few hundred feet in elevation gives us forest and snow.

It was truly lovely, worth the drive.

Saturday we drove the 35km Gap Road through to the other side. It was a breathtaking drive, even in the snow. Unfortunately, like a dummy, I forgot to load the memory card in my camera so there is no record of the trip in pictures.


The blog content posted during the "political crisis" has been re-posted on the Maple Leaf T-Shirt Blog. The link is on the right.