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BC FORUM News - From The Advocate, Autumn 2018

 

Now the truth comes out:
BC Liberals really wanted to privatize health care

Former BC Premier Gordon Campbell – leader of the government that illegally ripped up the contracts of health care workers and teachers – has made it clear in a sworn affidavit that he really wanted to open the door to American style health care in BC.

Campbell volunteered his BC Supreme Court affidavit in support of the infamous health care privateer Dr. Brian Day. The affidavit confirms that his government passed the Medicare Protection Act (MPA) in 2003 as a ruse designed to mislead voters and the federal government.

“While the government considered formally eliminating the restrictions on access to private health care in the MPA, we did not take steps to do so because of the possible loss of health transfer payments from the Federal Government,” he swore.

“It was this same concern about the loss of health transfer payments that caused the Government to introduce amendments to the MPA in 2003.”

However, his government did not proclaim the legislation and “continued to be pressured by the Federal Government to make changes or lose health transfer payments.”

In a final effort “to satisfy the concerns of the Federal Government” that BC was violating the Canada Health Act, the Campbell government proclaimed amendments which empowered the Medical Services Commission to audit private clinics and to obtain an injunction.

Notably, neither his government nor that of Christy Clark ever proclaimed the section on financial penalties to enforce the act.

And unsurprisingly, Ottawa was not fooled. After an audit of private for-profit clinics, the federal government imposed a fine of $16 million on BC.

B.C. Health Coalition co-chair Edith MacHattie says both Campbell and Day are “defending the inexcusable: breaking a law to make money and painting it like they’re concerned about choice.”

Day is in court trying to avoid fines now that the Horgan government has proclaimed the sections of the act that deal with enforcement.

 

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