Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lean Management & Swear to Tell the Truth

There are a few things to talk about today, mostly Federal issues but let's focus on the provincial issues first.

The Primary provincial issue revolves around Premier Brad Wall's comments about a "lean-management" health-care model for not only the province, but the country. Wall touted the use of private clinics in the province to shorten wait times for surgeries, while also suggesting that it was achieved without meddling with the single-payer model Canadians know and love.

Noticeably absent from Wall's comments are the use of clinics outside the province that perform these procedures. The government's first effort to improve health care delivery in the province revolved around shipping residents outside of the province. And while this still had government money for the procedure, it creates extra costs that are not always covered by the province for the patient and their families.

Wall's comments were not specific, which tends to be the first sign of no thought behind the comments. Furthermore, it is also a sign that the government is committing to a plan that they haven't planned out yet.

Many governments have approached the health care issue with a lower than needed background on ways to fix the current system. For years, governments have thought that the best way to repair the health care system is to throw more money into the system or find new ways of saving money; rather than finding new ways and innovative approaches to the health care system.

Furthermore we have never really explored the options of turning from a reactive health care system to a preventive care system. We could decrease burdens on the system simply by doing more to prevent long term illness and promoting healthier lifestyles. Yet Wall makes no mention of this.

Finding new ways to ensure money is spent wisely is not a bad idea, but we need to couple tat with the nation tat the best way to save money is to ensure that only those who need a doctor are going to see them. And only when governments understand that part of the equation will we see any fundamental positive improvement to health care delivery in this country.

Other news on the provincial front revolves around Saskatchewan's boundary commission getting ready to redraw electoral boundaries. This has been an interesting issue as the provincial government is insisting on excluding those under the age of 18 from being factored into consideration for population numbers.

Opposition members point out that this move disenfranchises future voters and will skew population numbers for this redistributing. Furthermore, the opposition is attacking the government for planning to create 3 new constituencies in the province, in a move that will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Given the recent wage increases for MLA's, since their wages are tied to inflation; many are accusing the government of a double standard. Pointing out that the Saskatchewan Party has refused to looking minimum wage increases in the province, despited increased in the cost of living, the decision to add a cost of new MLA's while keeping the minimum wage stagnant is taking a lot of flak.

Finally, that brings us to the federal issues for today. With reports that Elections Canada is investigating the Conservative Party for missing information from their voter's database; it came out today that workers in a Call Center contracted by the Conservatives made calls that claims to be from Elections Canada.

While that alone is not new news, employees have now sworn affidavits in a court challenge that the scripts they were following provided false information to voters.

One of the main Conservative defences (that it could be simple error with the phone calls) also fell apart today when it was revealed that of seven ridings currently involved in the court challenge, only one of them had a polling station moved prior to election day.

Conservatives remained silent on the issue for today, but I imagine a new defence will be put forward in the days ahead. What is clear however, is that there is obvious involvement between higher-ups in the party and organised effort to deceive voters. After all contracting an entire Call Center for the campaign does not come cheap and it could not be financed by a single individual. The only question remaining is how far up in the party this deception actually goes.

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