Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I'm a snob.

I admit it.

A reverse snob.

I grew up in a lower middle class (That was our way of avoiding the next-to-poor designation.) immigrant neighbourhood in the North End of Winnipeg.

I went to school and my grandmother stayed home.

Everybody else in the house worked 5 and a half days a week for not very much money and even less thanks.

The first rich guy I caddied for when I was ten tipped me 10 cents for 18 holes. I was always a loudmouth. I looked at the coin he so proudly dipped into my little tired palm. looked up at him and asked, "Who do I have to kill?"

You may understand how I have had a life long discomfort with men and women "of privilege" running public policy.

They may or may not know the south end of a profit and loss sheet, but what they know about everyone else's life and its attendant difficulties you could put in a thimble and have room for a revolution.

Horrified, therefore, might be the word to describe my reaction today on learning that Kip Woodward (Yikes! Kip...and Woodward. The very names shriek British Columbia, old money, golf clubs, memberships...) is the chair of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

And why am I not surprised to also learn that Kipper, that good old boy, has been advocating with Kevin Falcon, our warm and cuddly Health Minister, some of the following lovely ideas for our health care:

- services be contracted out to private clinics
- leasing of MRI capacity to private insurers
- a private eating-disorder clinic
- the sales of medical procedures to U.S. citizens
- a large addiction treatment centre modelled on the Betty Ford Center
- the provision of for-profit elective surgery.

When lobbying openly for the contracting out of services to private clinics, he was an investor in the province’s most prominent for-profit surgical centre.

Woodward was an original investor in the Cambie Surgery Centre, run by leading private health-care advocate Brian Day, which opened during the mid-1990s. Woodcorp, a family investment firm, maintains a stake in the clinic.

Can Kevin Falcon or anyone over there in Victoria spell CONFLICT OF INTEREST?

This is an egregious misuse of position.

Send the Kipper and his Keeper out to pasture, please.

It is also one of the many clear indicators of how The Granite Premier, the Monumental Premier wants to change public health care into a Mienike Car car Centre.

Do not allow him to do so.

Stop him and the Captains of Industry at every turn from creating the Wal-Mart Costco Superstore of Health.


Anonymous said...

David, it seems that the Gordo gov is hell bent on becoming the official opposition. If a third party shows up on the ballot they might not even get to be the official opposition. Would someone please point out to the Gordo crowd that hes is alienating the voters that could not stand the NDP under Ms James . As much as I hate Ms James the Gordo bunch is driving me back to the NDP. Its almost like he thinks the next election is thirty years away instead of three.

You and me and the NDP


Dave C. said...


I guess there weren't many rich folks on my side of the Red River back in the 40's and 50's either, because it sure elevates my blood pressure when politicians here so crassly dispense favours to their friends and themselves. But the public has itself to blame as well. Too many people have swallowed the "business & management know what's best for us" myth and its corollary that "you owe your prosperity to free enterprise". I'm not anti-business. I'm anti-dishonesty.

What aggravates me is the growing attitude that being in power gives anyone the right to special privileges and opportunities. Far too many obvious "deals" take place in this province and apart from a few journalists (& bloggers!), there is little public outcry. Have we become a culture of "bystanders", seemingly so desensitized to corruption and deceit that we just shrug and chalk it up to "just doing business"? Why don't we hear a reaction from the ethical and honourable business community? Are we so insecure that we dare not challenge authority anymore? Sounds more like a recent parade.


Anonymous said...

So, your premise is that public institutions should be run by people who are destitute and have therefore demonstrated their abilities by a lack of success. Interesting. And that's called being a "snob", is it?

"you owe your prosperity to free enterprise" is a myth? I wonder where Dave C thinks prosperity is produced. The Government Department of Prosperity Production I suppose. I wonder what public sector union he belongs to.

Anonymous said...

Woodward's family drove a great business into the ground long before the "retail meltdown". So much for being successful...He's a lucky f*ck who happened to inherit his dough.

Anonymous said...

I will make a comment about anoymous's take that people who do not have wealth are somehow unsuccessful (and shouldn't have run public institutions).

No one is saying that any public institution should be run by the homeless guy on the corner of Davie and Thurlow with the large mixed breed dog and a cup in front of him...

The average income for British Columbians is around $40,000. This is also the wage of many degree holding employees in the social services sector. Many professionals work for around $21 - $22.00 per hour on a part time basis (read around 30 hours per week) and hold a masters degree in social services. Yep, someone with two university degrees will make the BC average income.

Are you saying that these professionals have "proven their inability" because they are not multimillionaires?

I don't care if someone is rich or poor. I DO care if they have background knowledge in the area they are governing or managing.

I especially care if someone is in direct conflict of interest when making proposals.

harriet hedgehog said...

Wow, how come this huge conflict of interest is not in the news? I read about our Media bias in favour of the Liberals in BC, now I'm seeing it in action big time. Yes, we do need a Speakers Corner in downtown Vancouver. The VAG, Georgia St side is a possible location if the traffic noise is not too much. Speaking of which, I did a survey about the VAG's possible move; what I thought about their current building and so on. I am in favour of them making better use of the space they are in. I made specific suggestions but from the media coverage it appears that it's going to happen. Dumb - we could use the Cambie/Georgia site as a people space like Seattle kept after the World Fair.
What do you think David?