Where’s Leo? … and other notes from the health care week that was

I suppose if the Harper government can commit us to a war without borders — Iraq, maybe Syria — or actual end goals on the strength of a few hours of debate in the House of Commons on a Monday night in October, we should be grateful Stephen McNeil took a full week to ram through the most dramatic changes to health care in this province in more than a generation…

… and other random thoughts on the week that was.

Leo Glavine

Health Minister Leo Glavine

For starters, Where in the world is Leo Glavine?

Bill 1 marks yet another McNeil election promise fulfilled with much fury but more sleight of hand. First, it was Efficiency Nova Scotia. During the 2013 campaign, McNeil claimed he could save us $43 million a year by making Nova Scotia Power pay for the energy conservation agency. McNeil somehow managed to move that Pinocchio pea around under its shell for months last winter without substantively changing a thing, so don’t expect any actual savings on your power bill to result.

This session, it’s regional health authorities. During the campaign, the Liberals promised merging them would save us $13 million a year. Now it’s $5 million, but not now, maybe in “five to seven years,” a convenient after-the-next-election window allowing the Liberals to maintain that more-modest-but-equally-unlikely promise for its next platform.

Where’s Leo?

And what if the Nova Scotia Government Employees’ Union succeeds in its court challenge to the government’s draconian decision to arbitrarily assign workers to unions that are not the powerful NSGEU? Can you say Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Freedom of association? Could the courts ultimately order the government to allow the workers to vote? When? And with what chaotic consequences? Stay tuned?

Leo has left the building.

If you want to understand just how anti-democratic the union busting aspects of the government’s health care legislation are, consider that even PC leader Jamie Baillie questioned them: “I have a hard time understanding why the government is against allowing health care workers to pick a union,” he said. Tepid, but telling.

Not that it changed his vote. But then Baillie would probably prefer to privatize health care entirely and contract out its administration to Alberta. Save us…

Leo? Who’s Leo?


Related: Leo Glavine: Mis-speaking himself while saying the same thing.

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