Tuesday, March 23, 2010

And Our Own House?

On the day that President Obama will sign into law the new Health Care document in Washington, it might serve us well to look at our own problems.

Health-care spending in Canada now typically consumes more than 40 per cent of provincial budgets, and will account for half of all spending within a few years. Left unchecked, health care will eat up three-quarters of every dollar spent by a province 25 years from now.
Sixty-two per cent of seniors in six provinces are taking five or more prescription drugs each day.

Guilty as charged.

C├ęst moi.

So what are we to do?

We have a system that is bloated, costly and often unequally delivered from district to region.

In most ways, it is magnificent and it works.

But it is clearly bursting at the seams.

Take a look at the SURVEY in the right hand column and give me your cogent thoughts, please.


In a classic Canadian non-decision, the beloved CRTC has declared that the fight between so-called local broadcasters and the cable companies can just darn well fight in some else's backyard.

In other word's, "We don't have a clue or any balls, so let the Supreme Court solve this one."

Which means that the "local TV matters" fisticuffs will go on for ages and, in the end, you the consumer will be paying more per month to watch those Seinfeld re-runs.

In spite of this clear refusal to man up and solve anything, the CRTC receives massive praise this morning from John Doyle in the Globe.

The CRTC justifies its existence

Complain all you like, but it’s just shown why we need it

But keep in mind, that Mr. Doyle spends all his time watching television and taking it seriously and writing about TV programs every day.

That's got to affect your mind somehow.

Loco News

1. The Provincial government has finalized a deal with Paragon Gaming of Las Vegas to build a major hotel and entertainment complex with a casino attached to BC Place.

Because this is provincial land, the City has no say over anything about the project.

Nice way to run a shop.

2. Two years ago, a man in Merritt killed his three children.

Allan Schoenborn was found not criminally responsible because he was in a "psychotic state."

He is in custody.

So far so good.

But now a panel of geniuses will study the psychiatric reports to decide whether he should remain in custody or released under some form of supervision.

Why don't they consult with the good doctor who has seen all that progress in the mental health of Mr. Li who chopped off a fellow bus rider's head because it was Wednesday or he had a bothersome pebble in his shoe?

Malcolm Johnston of the Light Rail Committee Offers Excellent Comment

[The foto is of Dublin's wonderful LUAS system.]

David, years ago and in a different life, a I got a phone call from a European Transit type, representing one of the main players in the LRT/streetcar game.

The call went something like this:

"Hallo - I would like to speak to the head of the light rail department."

I replied, and some what taken aback by this and apologized;

"Sorry this is the Light Rail Committee and we don't have departments, let alone the people to staff them!"

The chap replied; "I was given your number by someone at TransLink."

I replied something like this; "I think you were given the toss by TransLink because they just don't do LRT, nor do they talk to people who do!

Realizing he was given the "bum's rush" by the transit types in the Ivory Towers on Kingsway, we talked for over an hour about transit and transit applications.

He told me that "one could build a LRT line from BCIT to UBC, via Broadway and 10th Ave. and a line from Main street to Stanly Park, that would double current bus ridership in two to three years, providing the revenue not only to pay operating costs, but to pay the dept servicing costs as well.

By doing so, it would be easy to find a transit company to plan, build and construct a LRT/streetcar line on the two routes with no cost to the taxpayer!

As well the LRT/streetcar service would replace buses operating on the route, thus saving TransLink a lot of money!

I am still laughed out of transit meetings when I repeat this, but of course, it is the same old TransLink/SkyTrain crowd the runs them; the same tired hacks that practice professional misconduct on a daily basis!

More recently, this quote from Gerald Fox, noted American transit experts should send chills down taxpayers spines.

"It is interesting how TransLink has used this cunning method of manipulating analysis to justify SkyTrain in corridor after corridor, and has thus succeeded in keeping its proprietary rail system expanding. In the US, all new transit projects that seek federal support are now subjected to scrutiny by a panel of transit peers, selected and monitored by the federal government, to ensure that projects are analysed honestly, and the taxpayers’ interests are protected. No SkyTrain project has ever passed this scrutiny in the US."

In Vancouver, the Luddites rein supreme! Tax and spend forever!