October 19, 2004

News Round-Up

I thought of instead having one large, single-item focussed entry today, I would have some quick reviews on various interesting news items. Ontario Liberals vs. Hospitals Smitherman, our health minister, has been accused of 'bullying' hospital administrations into being quiet about forced cutbacks. Much of the controversy so far has come from one administrator, Cyndy De Giusti, formerly of the Hospital for Sick Children, who has made such claims. She is formerly from the hospital because shortly after making the comments she was forced to give her resignation. While there is no direct evidence linking her forced resignation to Smitherman's so-called bullying, the opposition parties do have a point. It is quite suspicious that this apparently prominent administrator has been forced from her job only days after publically blasting the government. I'm in no position to say that the government itself forced her resignation but someone in the hospital board, probably closely tied to the government, probably did at the very least. That's if there are no other reasons for her departure. U.S. Seeking Canadian Flu Vaccine I'm not the first to point I won't be the last to point out the irony of G.W.Bush asking Canada to fill part of the demend gap for the flu shot to Americans. It has been only weeks since the last time Bush backed the claims of drug companies that their own drugs coming from Canada may not be as safe as their drugs available in America. Yet when there's a vaccine shortage who is the first country the American government turns to to help out? Canada. I guess our drugs are safe after all! Fascinating to say the least. Martin Allows Vote on Missle Defence Plan Is this a suprise? No. Why not? It has longed been believed that Martin supported it anyway so why not have a vote in the House of Commons. While this may seem like the democratic thing to do, the reality is a majority of MPs, which can be made up by the number of Conservative MPs and Liberal MPs, support this signing. By having the vote Martin can see the signing take place, which is probably what he wants, but then can blame it on his minority government status and having to give into the opposition's, aka Harper's, demands to have it as a vote. The problem with this is that it has been consistantly shown that the majority of Canadians do not want the missle defence plan signed, hence the reason why Martin will be looking for someone to blame when it happens. This raises the question about the interests of politicians versus the representation of their constituence. Toronto Looking to get Green(er) Finally I have found something to be excited about when it comes to being in Toronto. Toronto has decided to invest in a composting plan and has even bought 'green' boxes to push forward their new plan. Looking to cut back on disposable waste Toronto will be giving out these green boxes to households and will be cutting their regular garbage service from weekly pick-ups to bi-weekly pick-ups with the green boxes being collected in the alternating weeks. This is a big step for the large city that has continued to struggle with the amount of waste they have produced and dump. While it may not seem like much due to compostable waste often only regarded as food scraps, the program will actually take in more items than one may think. Items such as soiled diapers and used coffee filters can also be composted along with regular stuff such as chicken bones and apple cores. There is also a financial benefit; there will be less garbage required to go to the Michigan landfills, which means less trucks to fuel, repair, etc. These savings will at least in part offset the costs of buying also the green boxes. Now only if Mississauga, the city I live in and one of Canada's fastest growing cities, would adopt this program!!

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Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)