I would like to believe that we can yap and act democratically without retribution but I am not that stupid. I do believe that if you toe the Tory party line in Alberta, if you give generously and if you suck up to the oil monarchs, you get perks and jobs and other things such as judge positions.

I would like to believe that we can yap and act democratically without retribution but I am not that stupid. I do believe that if you toe the Tory party line in Alberta, if you give generously and if you suck up to the oil monarchs, you get perks and jobs and other things such as judge positions.

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One Response to “I would like to believe that we can yap and act democratically without retribution but I am not that stupid. I do believe that if you toe the Tory party line in Alberta, if you give generously and if you suck up to the oil monarchs, you get perks and jobs and other things such as judge positions.”

  1. Velvet Martin Says:

    Friday, June 13, 2014
    Dr. Anne Fanning, an Edmonton specialist who said she lost her job as the head of Alberta’s tuberculosis program in 1996 after she complained that plans to cut TB programs would endanger patients’ lives, said the health-care system must regain doctors’ trust. A judge-led inquiry isn’t necessarily the only way to approach the problem, she added. “Yes, it should be fixed. Exactly how it should be fixed, I don’t know,” said Fanning, who said the process should, however, be “open and monitored.”

    In my mind the slow erosion of our democratic rights under the Tories has worked to make us into silent conspirators in this decay. We have first not received adequate information to assess our own poverty of knowledge of the functions of the state. Then we have not translated whatever information we have received into any sort of productive democratic acts. Lulled into a false sense of prosperity we have accepted the storyline of the Progressive Conservative Party complete with the leader myths that are entirely laughable and done our work with our heads down so that we could keep our jobs.

    It’s like this.
    You want to have an ordinary family life.
    You do what you have to do to keep that life.
    Let me give you some examples.
    Physicians have resources to protect themselves when they are pushed around. They have money and they have contacts.
    But all of this means nothing if you aren’t on the good side of folks and you don’t have hospital privileges. A hospital board manages the matter of hospital privileges.
    You also have a hospital administrator.
    The doctors are under the control of these entities.
    The people on the hospital board and the hospital administrator are often good old Tory folks.
    You can lose your hospital privileges for whatever reason and that’s that. You get only the side orders of the menu and not the main dishes so to speak.

    Similarly, you have teachers who should have a lot of power but they are under the thumb of principals who are often incompetent but politically savvy. This is to say that there are good principals and I have been lucky to encounter exactly two of them. The others have been poor candidates. Principals have a lot of power and exert them hopefully in proper ways. But I rather doubt this. Then there is the matter of the school board that is full of ordinary citizens who can be biased. These folks on school boards as well as the principals also come from good old Tory stock.
    I mean this only makes sense doesn’t it?
    The Tory brethren are everywhere.
    This of course is not a problem until it is a problem.
    This is to say that we have problems in our society that sometimes make it difficult to keep silent about.
    Then what happens?
    Do people who yap and protest get canned by the Tory folks?
    I’m guessing yes.
    I mean I have no proof but my gut feeling tells me that if you are yapping against the Tories, your shelf life as a doctor or a teacher or really any employee that gets government money —will be short.
    I remember Dr. Fanning.
    Remember her?
    She spoke up for the underdog.
    Old King Ralphie didn’t like it.
    She was gone.
    That’s the problem with the Tories.
    They use a hammer on ants.

    http://www.canada.com/story_print.html?id=aa16cca2-c532-4e68-92b8-cf06a466f153&sponsor=

    Strong sense of justice fires doctor’s battle against TB
    EDMONTON – Dr. Anne Fanning fights tuberculosis because she can’t stand to do otherwise.
    BY THE EDMONTON JOURNALMARCH 24, 2007
    EDMONTON – Dr. Anne Fanning fights tuberculosis because she can’t stand to do otherwise.
    The disease still kills and maims the poor, 125 years after German scientists discovered the bacteria that causes it.
    Treatment costs just $15 per patient, but the disease sickens nine million people a year and kills 1.6 million.
    This makes Fanning mad.
    “Of course I want to make a difference with my work, but the reason I do it is because I think it is so bloody wrong not to,” she says.
    An infectious disease specialist at the University of Alberta, Fanning has spent nearly her entire adult life battling TB in any way she can — by treating patients, educating students, leading advocacy efforts and making policy.
    At age 67, Fanning has no plans to rein in her efforts, especially since there is growing concern about a drug-resistant form of TB. Health experts are worried it could spread quickly in Africa, where there are high rates of HIV and AIDS.
    Today’s World TB Day should serve as a wake-up call for western nations to provide more research funding and better health care in developing countries, she says.
    “For some reason we just can’t seem to wrap our head around the issue,” Fanning says. “We have to do more. Global health is really about the health of the poor.”
    Passion has been Fanning’s hallmark over the years, a characteristic that is both respected and feared, colleagues say. That’s because when she hears something she doesn’t like, Fanning has no qualms about ruffling a few feathers to get her point across, says Stan Houston, another U of A disease specialist.
    “She has a very strong sense of justice, and she doesn’t suffer fools gladly,” says Houston, who admits to butting heads with Fanning on occasion.
    “The key thing about Anne is that she is always willing to go to battle for the underdog, and that fits really well with TB, because it is the quintessential disease of poverty.”
    Fanning believes her interest in medicine was likely kindled by her mother, who was a doctor in London, Ont., at a time when there were very few female physicians around.
    “She might have been the only mom in the neighbourhood who had a job,” she says. “My guidance counsellor in high school also helped. I can still remember telling him I was going to go into history, and he said, ‘Anne, history is a nice hobby. Do medicine.’ ”
    After graduating from med school in 1963, Fanning and her husband Mel Binder — now a Court of Queen’s Bench justice — moved to Edmonton, where she trained in infectious diseases.
    Fanning says she never set out with a plan to focus on tuberculosis. The assignment of treating TB patients was simply handed to her one day, and she has never looked back.
    “My approach is just to do whatever’s in front of me,” she says. “I got totally immersed in it, and when you love what you do, you grow with it.”
    Besides her duties as a doctor, professor and mother to two daughters, Fanning has also had the opportunity to shape TB policy with the provincial government, the World Health Organization and several non-profit groups. Last year she was inducted into the Order of Canada.

    She stopped seeing patients two years ago, but continues to teach medical students once a week. Her focus with young people has always been to ensure they pay attention to health issues outside Canada’s borders, she says.
    She remains haunted by the tragedies wrought by TB. In one case etched in her memory, a young mother stricken by the disease emerged from hospital a year later, only to discover the baby girl she had left with a relative had been given up for adoption.
    She also remembers talking to a Zambian man who had lost most of his brothers and sisters to TB and AIDS. “He told me, ‘I am 39, and in my country I am considered an old man.’ ”
    Canada has about 1,600 cases a year, mostly among aboriginals, new immigrants and others prone to poverty.
    “When I see a 25-year-old, fit, aboriginal youth with TB-meningitis, which is a life-threatening condition and almost certain to cause lasting damage, I get angry,” she says.
    kgerein@thejournal.canwest.com

    http://www.canada.com/story.html?id=e7ac8290-702a-41c0-b006-8478055e58d1

    AMA on sidelines over intimidation allegations probe

    The board of the Alberta Medical Association won’t add its voice to those of a growing number of physicians calling for a judicial inquiry into allegations of intimidation against health-care professionals who speak out against long wait listing and crumbling patient care.

    BY EDMONTON JOURNAL APRIL 1, 2011

    The board of the Alberta Medical Association won’t add its voice to those of a growing number of physicians calling for a judicial inquiry into allegations of intimidation against health-care professionals who speak out against long wait listing and crumbling patient care.
    But Dr. P.J. White, president of the association that represents approximately 6,500 doctors plus 3,500 students, residents and retired professionals, said the board is closely monitoring the situation after five of 20 medical sections wrote letters pushing the association to call for a judicial inquiry.
    “We’re watching that very carefully,” White said Thursday. “Sections are speaking out for an inquiry and that’s to be encouraged. We’re a pretty open organization and obviously we welcome feedback from our membership. We’re monitoring the feedback from our membership on a day-to-day basis.”
    At least six medical sections representing approximately 2,000 doctors in emergency medicine, rural practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, anesthesia and addictionrehabilitation medicine have penned formal letters to the Alberta Medical Association saying a judicial inquiry must be called, said Dr. Felix Soibelman, president of the Edmonton Emergency Physicians’ Association and president-elect of the AMA’s emergency medical section.
    “The AMA has been pretty much sitting on the fence,” Soibelman said. Earlier this month, White put out a letter that said the association would support a public inquiry if one was launched by the provincial government.
    “Yes, we’re steering a narrow path, that is correct,” White said. “We’re staying out of the political domain.”
    He said he has talked with several doctors who have been intimidated after speaking out, some of whom have had health issues as a result. He hopes they will speak to the Health Quality Council of Alberta, which has launched an independent review.
    “We’ve had the issue discussed as a political football now for two or three months,” White said. “Granted, it’s been highlighted as a serious issue, which we welcome, but really, we have to focus on the fact that we have to support our members. We have to ensure that the members who do speak out get all the advice and support they need and we have to ensure the public confidence in the system is restored as well.”
    Neither that confidence, nor the confidence of doctors, will surface unless there is a public inquiry led by a judge, Soibelman said. He said doctors take no issue with the investigative and medical leaders of the Health Quality Council of Alberta, which is doing an independent review of reports of physician intimidation, 250 cases of alleged patient deaths while on surgical waiting lists and 330 more cases of poor patient outcomes due to long waits in hospital emergencies.
    Instead, physicians question the health council’s process of investigation, since the council is directed by Alberta Health and Wellness and Alberta Health Services, the two organizations that need investigating, Soibelman said.
    The council can’t compel doctors or politicians to testify, nor protect physicians who want to share their stories and can’t be freed from past contractual obligations that mandate silence, he said.
    The review will also take place behind closed doors and the final report won’t reveal who testified or give specific details other than generalized recommendations for change. While that will give physicians immunity and anonymity under the Alberta Evidence Act, Soibelman said all the information should be public to ensure accountability, transparency and a real sense that similar problems won’t reoccur.
    “It’s in everyone’s best interest that everyone knows what’s gone on,” he said. “We have an obligation to advocate for our patients and yet there are cases where physicians are being penalized. Their ability to make a living is at risk and their mental health is being questioned. There’s a scary pattern there.”
    Dr. Ciaran McNamee, for instance, now works at Harvard after allegedly being forced out of his job as top thoracic surgeon in Edmonton. He had his mental capacity questioned after speaking about lack of resources, according to a statement of claim that was never heard in court.
    Dr. Anne Fanning, a tuberculosis specialist, has said she lost her job in 1996 and her mental health questioned when she complained that plans to cut the TB program would endanger patient lives.
    Independent MLA Dr. Raj Sherman, too, had his mental capacity questioned after he began speaking out in the legislature during the fall 2010 session.
    jsinnema@edmontonjournal.com twitter.com/jodiesinnema

    http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=4ab36721-a103-4c6a-8b3a-271099f6a936&p=2

    Alberta doctors frustrated inquiry won’t tackle bullying
    Jamie Komarnicki, Calgary Herald
    Published: Thursday, March 01, 2012
    “There were 21 recommendations that the health quality council made in the context of that, to correct that situation. We’re accepting those recommendations, and we move on.”
    Alberta Health Services CEO Dr. Chris Eagle said Tuesday the super board is working toward creating the “just culture” recommended in the report. The health authority is focusing on improving the system and has not “taken any punishment actions,” Eagle said.
    Opposition critics and some physicians have said only a judicial inquiry will give doctors indemnity from non-disclosure agreements and allow them to testify freely.

    Calgary psychiatrist Dr. Lloyd Maybaum contended there’s nothing holding the government back from having a full inquiry into physician’s concerns – except a lack of will.
    Maybaum, who was interviewed by the health quality council after alleging his position with AHS was threatened when he spoke out about mental health cuts, said the probe wasn’t framed in a way to get to the bottom of doctors’ concerns.
    “They didn’t dig into any of these stories, these accounts the physicians gave,” he said. “The biggest problem we have is there is a lack of desire to do an inquiry.”
    Dr. Anne Fanning, an Edmonton specialist who said she lost her job as the head of Alberta’s tuberculosis program in 1996 after she complained that plans to cut TB programs would endanger patients’ lives, said the health-care system must regain doctors’ trust.
    A judge-led inquiry isn’t necessarily the only way to approach the problem, she added.
    “Yes, it should be fixed. Exactly how it should be fixed, I don’t know,” said Fanning, who said the process should, however, be “open and monitored.”
    jkomarnicki@ calgaryherald.com

    http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=4ab36721-a103-4c6a-8b3a-271099f6a936&p=2
    Alberta doctors frustrated inquiry won’t tackle bullying
    Jamie Komarnicki, Calgary Herald
    Published: Thursday, March 01, 2012
    “There were 21 recommendations that the health quality council made in the context of that, to correct that situation. We’re accepting those recommendations, and we move on.”
    Alberta Health Services CEO Dr. Chris Eagle said Tuesday the super board is working toward creating the “just culture” recommended in the report. The health authority is focusing on improving the system and has not “taken any punishment actions,” Eagle said.
    Opposition critics and some physicians have said only a judicial inquiry will give doctors indemnity from non-disclosure agreements and allow them to testify freely.

    Calgary psychiatrist Dr. Lloyd Maybaum contended there’s nothing holding the government back from having a full inquiry into physician’s concerns – except a lack of will.
    Maybaum, who was interviewed by the health quality council after alleging his position with AHS was threatened when he spoke out about mental health cuts, said the probe wasn’t framed in a way to get to the bottom of doctors’ concerns.
    “They didn’t dig into any of these stories, these accounts the physicians gave,” he said. “The biggest problem we have is there is a lack of desire to do an inquiry.”
    Dr. Anne Fanning, an Edmonton specialist who said she lost her job as the head of Alberta’s tuberculosis program in 1996 after she complained that plans to cut TB programs would endanger patients’ lives, said the health-care system must regain doctors’ trust.
    A judge-led inquiry isn’t necessarily the only way to approach the problem, she added.
    “Yes, it should be fixed. Exactly how it should be fixed, I don’t know,” said Fanning, who said the process should, however, be “open and monitored.”
    jkomarnicki@ calgaryherald.com

    ************************************************
    You see how it is don’t you?
    The saga of control continues.
    To this very day.
    The fact is we all need jobs.
    If a respected specialist can be dumped for helping the underdog what does it mean for the rest of us?
    Shut up and put up.
    But how long are we to do this?
    When is enough —really enough?
    Will it take the impacts on our families -before we open our mouths and yap?
    Will it take problems of poor governance that finally alter our own lives that will be the way out of our silence and the silencing mechanisms of the Tories?

    In any event, it is difficult to speak about problems simply because of the culture of bullying and intimidation that is prevalent in Alberta.
    This culture is present because the Tories have been in power too long.
    I think it is necessary to have a change if only to ensure that we have any democracy left.
    It is not good for citizens when there are Tories everywhere that can mess with our lives not only with the use of poor policy decisions but also by direct consequences of the loss of our jobs as in the case of Anne Fanning.
    It is difficult to have an ordinary life because the people above us who are in charge of our workplaces can make it very unpleasant if we aren’t obedient and conforming.

    I would like to believe that we can yap and act democratically without retribution but I am not that stupid.
    I do believe that if you toe the Tory party line in Alberta, if you give generously and if you suck up to the oil monarchs, you get perks and jobs and other things such as judge positions. They all tell me that judge selection is simply super but I don’t believe them. I think they are positions that are given to the Tory faithful and they are deliberate choices by the Tories to ensure that they stay in power.
    Why do I believe this?
    After the Jessica Ernst judge was promoted by Mr. Harper and a new one inserted into her story–I no longer believe that the selection of any judge is based on competence but certainly can be based on political magic.

    I think the selection of judges at all levels should be independent of government. Why do I believe this? Well you can see the farce of the Senategate business which is based on the random picks of the Harper guy and you can understand that political parties select senators to make their own advertisements for their parties and not to serve the people of Canada. Essentially the people of Canada are paying for senators who work for political parties to advertise their partisan works and as such I don’t think they represent Canadians. At least this is the feeling I get after Senategate.

    If the judicial system and if the Senate are contaminated by the political parties so that their views are always upheld then this is a problem in a democracy because I believe these groups should be neutral and detached. They should be ethical and wise. They should represent all Canadians.

    But they don’t.

    The long reign of the oil monarchs in Alberta has ensured a monoculture that will persist long after they are extinct. They have their Tory inserts into every plasmid around and these plasmids are transforming Alberta and Canada into Bitumen Nation.

    And all of us who are not in favor of Bitumen Nation will be under close watch.

    Not only do we have corporate donations influencing the voting of politicians but we have individual donations influencing the selection of judges in Alberta. All Albertans should read the June 2014 issue of Alberta Views. It’s pretty clear that we need another way to select our judges.

    https://albertaviews.ab.ca/

    Friends in High Places

    DARCY HENTON
    When provincial court judge Herbert Allard retired in 1996, the Progressive Conservative government unabashedly chose the PC party’s former president to replace him. Not only did Ted Carruthers once head the party, he was also one of its biggest donors.
    Posted by Julie Ali at 9:20 PM

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