Monday, September 28, 2009

Morning choices

Sun on maplesThe open window let in the chill of the autumn night. The air in the room is crisp, fresh and cool.

Through the glass I can see the sun shining on the colored leaves of the sugar maples, promising another beautiful fall day.

But my bed is warm and comfortable.

It’s decision time.

Friday, September 25, 2009

It’s mine! All mine!

In yesterday’s Ottawa Citizen, Amir Attaran, Canada Research Chair in Law, Population Health and Global Development Policy called out the Harper Government on it’s mean and churlish attitude towards helping poorer nations fight the coming swine flu pandemic.

Here are a few excerpts from that piece. You can find the complete article here.

Last week, as Stephen Harper was tooling around Washington and talking up Canada's virtues, across town a more substantially moral leader, Barack Obama, announced a global plan to donate life-saving influenza vaccines to poor countries in Africa, Asia and elsewhere.

Those donations are likely to be, for many countries, the only vaccine that they get. Heeding the World Health Organization's call, Australia, Britain, Brazil, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland also went along with the donation plan.

Canada, however, declined.

With 50.4 million doses of vaccine in Canada's entitlement, and 32 million Canadians, perhaps only half of whom want to be vaccinated, PHAC officials are certainly correct that we have "more than enough for any Canadian that wants to receive it."

The Harper government must do better than continue its mean streak. In this, and much else to do with international aid, poorer foreigners notice Canada's new beggar-thy-neighbour attitude, and wonder how a country once known for its generosity has fallen so far. The usual preening about Canadian internationalism is nonsense, where WHO has justly called on Canada to share a life-saving resource, and we refuse.

Well said sir, well said.

We’re back all right – at the back of the pack.

Remember this from two short years ago?

"The news is spreading throughout the world: Canada's back," Harper told the crowd of about 35,000 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sunday.

"Canada's back as a vital player on the global stage ... Canadians are citizens of the world and we're making a positive contribution in every field of human endeavour."

Well we’re back all right – at the back of the pack. Here’s what the United Nations thinks about our relative position in the world when it comes to ‘green’ stimulus spending.

The Global Green New Deal update for the upcoming G20 summit in Pittsburgh revealed the Harper government was spending the equivalent of about $77 U.S. per person in green stimulus, putting it in ninth place out of 13 countries evaluated.

Yup, we’re right there at the bottom with Spain, South Africa and Mexico. Disgraceful.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Why do I want an election?

Because it will give the media something to talk about other than H1N1!

Just once I would like to open a newspaper, turn on the radio, or catch the TV news without being faced with yet another fear-mongering story about swine flu.

The media have taken what was, and is, a serious health issue and in full Chicken Little fashion have managed, through a constant barrage of inflammatory and sensationalist stories, to instil fear and near-panic in large segments of the population and raise everyone’s stress levels to the extent that we have so-called health “experts” shipping body bags off to First Nations reserves and regular folks with a head cold making funeral arrangements.

Can we not get a little perspective please?

swine flu