Friday, April 16, 2010

Shadow Dances

The provincial government is going after the books of the Vancouver School Board.

The Premier in one of his most disingenuous moments, declared "It’s a question of making sure we are doing everything we can to provide for kids in the classroom.”


What a card.

The revival of vaudeville right before our eyes.

The cement Mixer turns his steely eye to helping children.

Give us a Royal Canadian Break, puleeeese.

Of course, it didn't help that the Board chair, Patti Bacchus, has been openly critical of Margaret MacDiarmid, the poor soul posing as the Minister of Education in a province that is run entirely out of the Premier's office. That's Marg, up there in the corner.

But that's not the entire story of course.

Turns out that almost every school board in the province is ailing.

Not enough money.

Old story.

And while these boards may be right and the province may in fact not be funding at the levels necessary, there is a deeper issue at stake here.

Whether or not Victoria ponies up enough loot on any given day to properly provide buildings, books, chalks, computers, playing fields and dedicated teachers to create great learning environments for BC children, a simple question remains unanswered.

Do we need School Boards?

Do we need regional Health Boards?

Are not these bodies great places for sucking up money and energy?

Could we not fund schools and hospitals directly and demand that they be responsible citizens?

Could we not audit these direct suppliers of educational and health services?

How much do these Boards cost us all?

We know for a fact that in health care, the regional boards have created a maze and snake pit of cross-regional claims on patients with mental health and addiction problems. We know that treatment - and the patient - are often lost in the bureaucratic jungle.

It is the endless and fruitless processes of covering your ass that costs us all.

Maybe some day in a place only to be dreamed of we will have a government with the courage to send these boards into the ocean so that we can get on with teaching and practicing medicine.

Small World

I've taken BA flight #85 several times in recent years.

It leaves London's Heathrow Airport - a small city complete with doctors, entertainment, hotels and traffic jams - in the early evening and, if things go as they are expected, it touches down at YVR just on time for dinner at home of the same day.

Not today however.

Not only that flight but some Scare Canada and KLM flights have been cancelled as well as BA#85 and the flight heading back to Heathrow, BA#84.

The source of all the fuss?

Well, it's Ma Nature up to her funny tricks again.

Just a small matter of that volcano exploding out from deep below a glacier in southern ICELAND!

In Europe, many flights have been grounded because the volcanic ash is clouding the skies for many hundreds of miles.

Imagine sitting on board what seems to be a "routine" flight and then hearing the captain crackle over the loudspeaker, "Sorry to interrupt this Sandra Bullock movie that I know you're enjoying. I saw it in a lay-over in Tokyo last week and I thought it was terrific too. We'll have it back up and running in just a moment. I just wanted to give you fair warning though that we've been advised by the meteorologists with whom we are in regular communication that we are about to fly through some pretty...ach... heavy volcanic ash. I know that sounds unusual and it is. But not to worry. The little bits and pieces are pretty small and by the time they get up to 39,000 feet, which is our present cruising altitude, they've kind of...gee whiz... cooled off. So just relax and enjoy your flight and if you see a kind of darkness come over the starboard side, well, no...oof...ah, no problem."