Tag Archives | Canada

Soaring Costs Force Canada to Reassess Healthcare Model

CanadaClaire Sibonney writes in Reuters via Yahoo News:

Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada’s provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system.

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, kicked off a fierce battle with drug companies and pharmacies when it said earlier this year it would halve generic drug prices and eliminate “incentive fees” to generic drug manufacturers.

British Columbia is replacing block grants to hospitals with fee-for-procedure payments and Quebec has a new flat health tax and a proposal for payments on each medical visit — an idea that critics say is an illegal user fee.

And a few provinces are also experimenting with private funding for procedures such as hip, knee and cataract surgery. It’s likely just a start as the provinces, responsible for delivering healthcare, cope with the demands of a retiring baby-boom generation.

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Ex-Canadian Defense Minister Says Aliens Have Visited Earth: Hawking Is Wrong About Them

CTV News reports:
Live Long and Prosper

Stephen Hawking’s warnings of an alien invasion have prompted a vigorous defence of extraterrestrials by their most prominent Canadian fan. Former federal defence minister Paul Hellyer, 86, believes not only that aliens have visited Earth but also that they have contributed greatly to human technological advances.

So he can’t quite understand why the world renowned astrophysicist views them with such trepidation; Hawking recently warned that malevolent aliens could lead to the destruction of humanity.

The longtime cabinet minister accuses Hawking of spreading misinformation about extraterrestrials.

“I think he’s indulging in some pretty scary talk there that I would have hoped would not come from someone with such an established stature,” Hellyer said in an interview.

“I think it’s really sad that a scientist of his repute would contribute to what I would consider more misinformation about a vast and very important subject.”

Hawking speculates in a new documentary that most extraterrestrial life will be similar to microbes, or small animals — but he adds that advanced life forms may be “nomads, looking to conquer and colonize” new planets.

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Time Traveler Caught in 1940 Photo?

Mori writes on forgetomori:

Hipster In 1940?

Reopening of the South Fork Bridge after flood, November 1940

It’s the short description for the photograph shown at the virtual Bralorne Pioneer Museum, from British Columbia, Canada. The image can be seen specifically on this page (scroll down to see), among other items of the online exhibit. Did you notice anything out of place? Or perhaps, out of time?

The man with what appears to be very modern sunglasses seems to be wearing a stamped T-shirt with a nice sweater, all the while holding a portable compact camera!

Internet people reached to the obvious conclusion: it’s a time traveller caught on camera on 1940! Finally, we have proof!

If the story seems straight out of a movie and the photo is in itself a great funny find, the most amusing thing i came up with while looking into this — as an Internet person, on the Internet — was the reply for a skeptical, or perhaps somewhat cynical comment on how spurious it would seem the idea that a time traveler would want to visit the reopening of a bridge in some small town in Canada.

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Canada Hates Anne Coulter; She Thinks That’s A Hate Crime

Ann Coulter at CPAC in February 2010. Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC)

Ann Coulter at CPAC in February 2010. Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC)

I’m not sure what’s more surprising: that Canadians are giving Anne Coulter the treatment she deserves, or that anyone is actually taking any notice of her over the top right wing rhetoric anymore. Personally I don’t think even she believes half the stuff she says – she just does it to garner attention and sell books. Report from Canada.com:

After protesters at the University of Ottawa prevented Ann Coulter from giving a speech Tuesday night, the American conservative writer said it proved the point she came to make — free speech in Canada leaves much to be desired.

Then she said what she really thought of the student protesters who surrounded Marion Hall, making it unsafe, in the view of her bodyguard, for the pundit to attempt entry.

“The University of Ottawa is really easy to get into, isn’t it?” she said in an interview after the cancelled event.

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Sarah Palin Admits To Sneaking Into Canada For Health Care

Speaking before a sold-out crowd in Calgary this month, Sarah Palin reveals how her family got medical care when she was growing up: by sneaking into Canada. And, yes, she sees the irony, the Globe and Mail reports:

The vocal opponent of health-care reform in the U.S. steered largely clear of the topic except to reveal a tidbit about her life growing up not far from Whitehorse.

“We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada,” she said. “And I think now, isn’t that ironic?”

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Israel Is An Apartheid State And That Is Why They Are Losing Legitimacy

IAW poster

By Judy Rebick at Rabble.ca:

Before Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) even began members of the Ontario Legislature and the Canadian Parliament are falling all over each other to denounce it. I can’t remember another time when elected legislators formally denounced a student activity like this. Perhaps during the 1950’s when McCarthyism was rampant but that was before my time.

Last week the Ontario Legislature unanimously passed a resolution denouncing Israel Apartheid Week submitted by PC Peter Shure who said calling Israel an apartheid state was “close to hate speech.” While there were only 30 MPP’s in the Legislature at the time, NDP MPP Cheri di Novo was one of them and spoke in favour of the resolution. This week a Conservative MP is introducing a resolution calling IAW anti-Semitic.

Before I deal with why these unprecedented attacks are taking place, I’d like to share with you a great talk I heard last night at Ryerson from Na’eem Jeena: , a leading activist and academic from South Africa who works for Palestinian solidarity.

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Gay Rights Section Nixed for Canadian Immigrants’ Guide

From CBC News:

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney blocked any reference to gay rights in a new study guide for immigrants applying for Canadian citizenship, the Canadian Press has learned.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says his department tried to make an ‘inclusive’ immigration study guide, but couldn’t fit in every government policy and legal decision.Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says his department tried to make an ‘inclusive’ immigration study guide, but couldn’t fit in every government policy and legal decision. (CBC)

Internal documents show an early draft of the guide contained sections noting that homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969; that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation; and that same-sex marriage was legalized nationally in 2005.

But Kenney, who fought same-sex marriage when it was debated in Parliament, ordered those key sections removed when his office sent its comments to the department last June.

Senior department officials duly cut out the material — but made a last-ditch plea with Kenney in early August to have it reinstated.

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Canada Promises Landing Strip for UFOs

From CBC News:

Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Friday that he doesn’t know what people in southern Newfoundland saw recently but he promised the federal government does have plans to help them.

“We will provide money to build a landing strip for UFOs at Harbour Mille,” said MacKay, speaking in St. John’s to announce federal funding for road construction in the province.

“No, I’m only kidding. I’m joking. That’s a joke.” Jokes aside, MacKay said there’s no need to worry about the unidentified flying object. “We’ve checked with other countries and we’ll continue to do so but I don’t think it is any cause for panic,” said MacKay.

A model plane flier said an earlier a comment from the Prime Minister’s Office about a mysterious object spotted near Harbour Mille is laughable. Thursday, a federal government spokesperson suggested people in Newfoundland and Labrador like to launch model rockets.

[Read more at CBC News]

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