Hitch hiking across Canada as a teen, Paul Martin took a summer job as a deckhand on a tug boat in Canada's far north, toiling elbow-to-elbow alongside Dene First Nation, Inuit and Métis crew. When the work was done, he'd talk with them late into the night. His mates were friendly and smart, but the young Martin saw a sense of hopelessness in them. Most had been crushed by years in residential schools.
I believe the public should know how taxes are spent. More importantly, the public should know their money is wisely spent. With physician billings, though, I think we're chasing the wrong number. Billings are a crude, misleading measure of value for money. In isolation, they cannot and do not tell the story we need to hear.
Though assisted death is now officially legal in our fair country, we have yet to formalize a national framework and the debate over the specifics of the regulations seem to omit the most critical voice -- that of the individuals and families who have and continue to be subject to archaic mindsets that deny certain patients the right to end their own life, and control their own destiny. It is imperative we hear these voices -- and so here is mine.
True leaders understand the importance of effective communication. Powerful speeches have changed the world and served as powerful agents of persuasion. Whether you're trying to change the world or change a lightbulb, the way you speak can mean the difference between getting walked on and being revered. Effective communication is not a "soft skill," it's a necessity if you're dealing with human beings in your line of work.
The boundary established in Bill C-14 for reasonable foreseeability of natural death will serve as an essential safeguard to protect vulnerable persons from being induced to commit suicide through the system. From our perspective, anyone who is not dying, but who is nonetheless seeking death, is by definition vulnerable.
Dread and despair, uncertainty and panic ebb and flow around thoughts of my medical career. Most days clamour with stories of clinics closing, physicians leaving and patients dying on waitlists -- all flatly ignored by provincial leaders. Some days, I even want to quit. After only sx years of independent practice, I'm burning out.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Tokyo this week for a bilateral visit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well a G7 leaders summit in nearby Ise-Shima. While increasing trade is a major focus of the Prime Minister's visit (Japan is Canada's fifth largest trading partner), Canadians should cross their fingers that Trudeau doesn't ask his Japanese counterpart for advice on fiscal policy and the virtues of massive infrastructure spending.
Does the inevitable stagnation that comes with a decade in power automatically cast a departed leader as the worst in history? Many will point at Harper's dictatorial approach to governance, his deficits, his disregard for science or his political gamesmanship as proof that he was. I don't think this type of hyperbole is worthwhile nor productive.
Few realize that the position of prime minister in Canada has more power than the President in the United States or, for that matter, any government leader in the G7. The current government already has the majority of seats and therefore control of the legislative agenda. It can use its majority to limit debate on any given bill and it also has control over the committees studying these bills.
The gender identity and expression bill is long overdue, with similar bills having already been introduced seven times before. But what makes this a cause for celebration is that for the first time, it's the government who is tabling the bill. Unlike previous private members' bills, this one is much more likely to pass. This bill would go a long way toward equal protections for all trans people across Canada, and could be a promising example to follow for provinces and territories who haven't yet adopted similar protections.
The idea that one group of children must be tossed aside for another is flawed and harmful. The problem of wait lists for autism therapy is simply one of government spending priorities. The only reason every single child with autism cannot immediately receive IBI is because the government is not immediately investing enough money for them to do so. But aren't the Liberals investing $333 million? Why isn't that enough?
If all MPs and all Canadians approach these subjects with respect, we can all feel better about the outcome whether you support Bill C-14 or not. I have been part of a few interviews and discussions with MPs on the issue of assisted suicide and got to know my colleagues across the aisle and understand their motivations better. This is passion and Parliament at its best. Sadly, last week also saw Parliament at its worst when the prime minister of Canada allowed his passion to get the better of him and he stormed across the aisle to yell at, and engaged in a scuffle with opposition MPs.
As the leading elected official, the prime minister erred significantly, and his subsequent apologies contain a hint of his awareness of how Parliament was belittled through his action. And when NDP members sought to keep the Opposition Whip from proceeding down the aisle with his government counterpart, they too played their own erring part in the twisted plot.
Today in Alberta there is a debate about parental rights v. the rights of LGBTQ kids. It centres around the obligation of a school teacher to whom a student discloses their orientation or gender identity to tell that student's parents. I was fortunate that my parents were supportive and understanding. Not all kids are so fortunate.
I'm proud of Mrs. Grégoire Trudeau's involvement and support of causes. I just think she chose the wrong audience at the wrong time. Most parents who work full-time or more would be over the moon to have one helper. To want to have two plus an office of staff comes across as tone-deaf and elitist, even if it is warranted by the purposes you are taking on. I think I speak for the majority of the average families out there when they would say that if you can't handle the workload you're taking on, you're going to have to consider cutting back or looking at taking some money out of your pocket to find a workaround.
Organized sport played an important role in the residential school system, which means that sport is implicated in Canada's history of cultural genocide. How we move our bodies, the values we attach to those movements, and the resources we provide to support certain types of movements and not others are political decisions.
I can think of many times when I ignored what I saw in a person or a situation. Initially, it seems so much easier to see what we prefer to see, rather than face the unpleasant truth of what's actually there. Still, what I've realized is that no matter how difficult it is to acknowledge the signs of trouble in our relationships or environment, it's always better to do so.