I keep getting the feeling that we, here in Canada, are in a state of transition. There seems to be an undercurrent of dissatisfaction, unrest, and even some urgency. I donâ€™t think I can point to any one particular event or thing as a definitive â€œsignâ€, but I get a sense that change is imminent.
- Last night, Quebec held a provincial election and the results were noteworthy. We have a minority government in Quebec, the first in over 125 years. What was interesting was how an â€œupstartâ€ political party (Action Democratique du Quebec or â€œADQâ€ for short) created by a 36 yr. old managed to win 41 of 125 possible seats. While the Liberals will form the minority government, I think the traditional political parties should be worried. Is this a sign that people want change, or are they simply upset with the status quo? Needless to say, the political landscape in Quebec is changing.
- Related to politics, the Ontario Medical Association is moving forward with their â€œCampaign for Healthier Careâ€ and announced their six principles of healthier care (read document here). The six principles are: 1) Keep patients front and centre; 2) Focus on the future; 3) Be specific; 4) Think investment, not cost; 5) Apply what we know faster; and 6) Start now. Honestly, Iâ€™m not sure what I think about these six ideas. Iâ€™ll think about them and share my thoughts in a future post.
On a somewhat non-sequitur note, Iâ€™m somewhat astounded (and not necessarily in a positive way) that the general public is now expected to pay to hear senior government officials and other experts report on the progress of government initiatives. I received an email â€œinvitationâ€ to attend a healthcare roundtable titled â€œWait Time Strategy: Is the strategy working?â€. I checked out the web-site to learn more about the event and register, but was (perhaps naively) shocked to find out that I had to fork over $95 to attend this event. Okay, this specific event may be facilitated by a private organization (Direct Engagement Inc.) so in that regard, I can understand the profit motivation. But, since when (and why) are the governments abdicating its responsibilities to provide access to information and to report on its activities? Am I completely naive about this? In a few years, will we need to play $5 to speak to our Member of Parliament? Or, perhaps in a way to raise more funds for healthcare, we will need to pay $50 to view the contents of our health record and another $250 to get a copy of it. Perhaps in some crazy way, election campaigns will become television shows funded by advertisements available only on pay-per-view stations. If these speakers are being paid to attend, then shouldnâ€™t there be at least some other forums and opportunities to facilitate public discourse? Neil Postmanâ€™s writings seem particularly prescient in light of these occurrences.