Posted by: Kiersten | January 14, 2010

Are we locals yet?

Guess what we got in the mail today?  Our BC Drivers Licenses!  Woo Hoo!  And guess what else?  I got a BC Care Card!  If I need to see a doctor now, I can go!  Well, I could have gone anyway since my Ontario coverage would pay for it for up to three months after I left the province, but I’m sure it’s extra hassle and paperwork.  So much better to be covered by BC.

And guess what else I got?  My first BC Healthcare bill!  $57!  Every month!!  I knew that bill was coming since I made too much money back in Toronto to qualify for the subsidy.  It doesn’t matter that I’m not making any money NOW, they bill you based on the income from last year. 

Oh well.  $60 a month is a manageable amount.  I just read about a woman on chemotherapy in the states who’s paying $800 a MONTH for private insurance, plus deductibles, plus co-pays.  That is just a crime, just robbery.  It’s outrageous.  I do not understand why people weren’t rioting in the streets demanding health care for all.  Hell, the people in France shut the country down and demonstrate when they think their government isn’t doing all it could be doing for them.   Just look at what they did in 2009:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/30/world/europe/30france.html

They hold their government accountable.  North Americans feel disconnected from their government.  Powerless.  They think that protests and demonstrations will not make a difference.  And often, it doesn’t.  Maybe it’s that not enough of the population demonstrates at the same time, it’s the old divide and conquer.

Take the Ukee school crisis for example.  The BC provincial government pulled money out of public health and education programs to pay for bells and whistles for the 2010 Olympics.  Well that’s not the official message, but that’s what happened.  This September the deficit was handed down to rural schools and the solution is to CLOSE one of the elementary schools in the Pacific Rim.  Tofino or Ucluelet, which will it be?  The losing town will have to bus their kindergarten kids for an hour to school each way.  Divide and conquer, keep the little guys down.  The schools are the beating hearts of our communities.  Schools ensure that families can live in these small, remote communities.  Without the schools, young families will leave, and new families will not move in.  Ever want to kill a community?  Stab ’em right in the Public Services, watch the life-blood drain out.

So we have our licenses, we’re paying provincial health care bills, we’re driving a car that’s as old at the person we bought it from and we have opinions on the local politics – can we call ourselves Ukee Locals yet?

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Responses

  1. Do demonstrations change anything? Meh, I don’t know. I remember the September 18th World says No to War worldwide marches before the US invaded Iraq. I was amazed by the power of the people. For that day we shut NYC DOWN, we filled the streets with hundreds of thousands of people. And we got a war anyway. I’m not sure there was even a pause or a blink in the planning.

    And now the American public seems to be too stupid to realize that healthcare would be in its own best interest. Go figure.

    At least we have Canada as an example that universal medical care won’t lead directly to communism.

    Beautiful trees, BTW.

    (Anne) Cornerhouse.

    • I remember Sept 18th, I was marching in Toronto. It was a powerful day.

      All the cuts to the social programs here, the schools, the hospitals, nurses and teachers striking, it reminds me of Ontario in the 90s. We’ve been down this path before, we know where it leads.

      The problem is that politicians can say anything to get elected, and then they do what they want once they’re in power – there are no consequences. There needs to be consequences before we’ll see political responsibility.

      Fair Vote Canada is working on it: http://www.fairvote.ca/

      It’s a start.


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