Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cut the Fat, Not the Programs

At the top of the local news are two announcements that add volumes to the picture of the provincial government and its priorities.

B.C. health authorities asked to slash $45-million from budget

Vancouver board to lay off dozens of staff, close school, drop 10 days

Both stories are worth a read.

Both stories should be balanced against recent news about Big New Casinos and Hotels, New Roof for the Stadium and all the other MONUMENTAL distractions in Gordo Land.

But let's focus on that first story, the one about Health Minister Kevin Falcon telling everyone to tighten their belts.

If only he had the faintest idea what he was talking about.

There is a new program here in this province that helps people with very difficult problems. I am being circumspect about this program because I admire their work and I don't want to cause them any more troubles than they already have. Now this program has been in business for decades in other jurisdictions, where they receive block funding for their excellent work. But, here in enlightened British Columbia, where we have all these munificent Health Authorities, every single person that enters this program for help is fought over by 14 different levels of government. Payments and authorities are delayed, beds are left empty and the suffering stay out on the street because of bureaucratic meddling of the worst and silliest kind. If Mr. Falcon would like to save money, I can show him how in three minutes. Not only would he save money, he'd get real work done and get real help to real people who need it. I'll tell you what I won't be doing the next few days. I won't be waiting by my phone holding my breath.

Sshhhh...we're Canadians, Part 9,876,243

Congratulations Canada!

We have come up with a new oxymoron - one that will rival even Liquor Control Board.

It is called The Afghanistan Public Interest Hearings.

The only problem - and the thing that qualifies this little side show for oxy status - is that these "Public Hearings" are being held in secret.

Not only have the media and the public (Remember them? Yech! Dirt under their fingernails, dontcha know?) been barred from these august proceedings, but the Military Police Complaints Commission hung a curtain, or veil, across the doors so that nobody could even glimpse the party inside.

Now let's focus on the 'reasoning' here.

It's an old familiar one.

It's the one that is always a give-away.

It always tells us that the stench of mendacity is high.

Here is comes...


Whenever you hear that old saw being hauled out of the cupboard, head for the hills and grab the ammunition as you go.

The Globe editorial nails it today with their piece aptly titled

Public interest goes private

Read it and re-discover the people you have elected.

Odd Fact of the Day

More than 2,300 corner stores - six a day, or about 10 per cent of the total number of locations across Canada - closed last year, with contraband tobacco sales siphoning off more than $2.5-billion in sales and $260-million in profits during that time, according to a study released yesterday by the Canadian Convenience Stores Association.

Now, that's inconvenient.

It's also a prime example of The Law of Unintended Consequences.

The government in its endless wisdom keeps adding tax to the retail price of cigarettes.

The goal is twofold: Get more revenue and discourage smokers from smoking.


Real result in the real world populated by ordinary folk?

The enormous rise of criminal enterprise, tax money being siphoned off into illegal activities and smokers smoking as much if not more than ever.