In the late 1990s, the Chretien government provided funding for The Canadian Health Network, an online resource of health information drawn from specialists across Canada. The idea was, and is, innovative - bringing a moderated source of medical information to the web in a form that most Canadians can read.
Via Canadian Cynic, I found myself reading Carol Goar's column in the Toronto Star, which revealed the following little bit of policy by funding fiat:
Two weeks ago, Catherine Drew, executive director of the Canadian Health Network, notified the 26 member agencies that the program would be eliminated at the end of the fiscal year.
Most of the participants were shocked. A few had been picking up trouble signals – funding delays and bureaucratic dithering.
The only explanation Drew provided was that the Public Health Agency had been ordered to cut its grants and contributions to outside groups by $16.7 million and it had reluctantly decided to pull the plug on the network.
Oh really? So, while we a pouring billions of dollars into Afghanistan, reporting record surpluses, the HarperCon$ are quietly attacking public health. Brilliant. Just brilliant. Unsurprising, since it is no secret that the Con$ would quite cheerfully dismantle any government program that involves the public good.
In fact, Health Minister Tony Clement launched a new website, www.healthycanadians.gc.ca, in October, to provide users with information about all of the government's programs – its children's fitness tax credit, its revised Canada Food Guide, its toy safety tips, its latest product recalls and its healthy pregnancy guide – designed to promote an active, well-balanced lifestyle.
Oh, isn't that special. So we are going to replace a focused resource that provides specialized information with one that is riddled with propaganda about the Con$ latest "tax incentives".
I've said it before, Harper's not going to talk about his agenda - he's going to impose it without discussion. How accountable of him.