Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Some weeks ago you used the very useful descriptive term “Covidiots”. It certainly describes those people who prefer to put their fingers in their ears and sing “Nyah, nyah, nanah – my mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts” and to claim their dubious right to risk ignoring the recommendations of the health experts who are attempting to minimize the effects of the pandemic.

In any case, I want to borrow the term to apply to another more dangerous bunch of Covidiots. That is our government, which true to the dogma of no-longer-progressive conservatives, is once again attacking our publicly owned and funded health care system.

How will putting thousands of people out of work help either the healthcare system or the economy? Did the economy of Vegreville improve when Century Park cut the wages of all its front-line workers? Did the standard of care improve with paying people not just badly but much worse than before? If the government puts people out of work, has the “private for profit” sector ever in any place proven to take up the slack? Has it ever in any place proven to improve the economy? How does it help improve patient care if those who care for patients are under-staffed and under stress? How is patient care improved by reducing the cleaning staff, the other support staff?

Outsourcing to “private for profit” over and over again has proven to result in reduction in standards, shoddy treatment of workers, and gain in profits for the corporate profiteers at the expense of our tax dollars. Paraphrasing someone’s definition of INSANITY: repeating the same mistakes over and over and expecting different results. None of this implies that the current system cannot benefit from improvements. But just not by the way it has been proposed.

It seems clear to me that the UCP has adopted a political dogma that benefits the privileged, NOT the majority of the people of Alberta. The stated claims are not supported by evidence. It saddens me to see Albertans, again and again, elect a party that is either ignorant of, or derives pleasure from the suffering and distress among the most vulnerable of the population (the sick, the disabled, the elderly).

To go through this most unproductive exercise at any time is damaging in so many ways. But to do it in the midst of a pandemic, is positively appalling.

What will stop this knee-jerk attack on the health care system which it seems to me has characterized Alberta governments (with one obvious exception) in the 40 years that I have lived in this province?