United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney unveils the broad policy plans in Edmonton, Wednesday, Feb.20, 2019 for his party’s health platform ahead of Alberta’s election campaign.
Dean bennett / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Re. “Private health care should be an option,” Letters, Feb. 26Art Davison mentions that countries with both public and private health-care services have much shorter wait times than Canada.On the surface, this might initially seem to be true. But if we look more closely at the U.S., we find that the private system focuses on eye surgeries and other easily treatable conditions, but leaves the more complicated chronic (and hence more costly) health ailments to the public sector. Thus, the private system cherry-picks the most profitable and dumps the more costly procedures onto the public sector.And if you are unfortunate enough to experience side effects from your surgery, these clinics refuse to assist you and will refer you instead to an ER located in a public hospital. How does this help to reduce waiting lists? Also, how does this help to reduce costs?Ron Bereznicki, EdmontonSNC affair causes deep concernIn clerk of the Privy Council Micheal Wernick’s rant regarding the SNC-Lavalin affair he stated, “I am deeply concerned about my country and its politics and where it is headed.”I, too, am very concerned but for totally different reasons. One of the most basic tenets of our democracy is the total separation of our government and our judicial system. In the Lavalin affair, this certainly does not appear to be the case. Once attorney general Wilson-Raybould had made her decision, that should have been it.Not only did Prime Minister Trudeau, but Gerald Butts and Wernick himself, tried to “encourage” her to change her mind using the legislation they had sneaked through parliament in an omnibus bill which could free Lavalin from criminal prosecution.When she did not comply, she was ousted from her position and replaced with a Quebecer who appears to be more receptive to giving Lavalin a reduced sentence.If this isn’t government interference with the judicial system, I don’t know what is. Wernick should be deeply concerned about his country, but for these actions not the ones he quoted.G.E. Shandro, ArdrossanExtinction of species is foreverIf there is one good thing to come out of the National Energy Board’s latest ruling on the Trans Mountain pipeline it is a smidgin of honesty. It admits that the pipeline poses a serious risk to marine life in the Salish Sea with an increase in monthly tanker traffic from four to 60, and a greater likelihood of oil spills. Nevertheless, it asserts that the public interest trumps these dangers.One can assume that people will always put themselves and their jobs ahead of the environment and non-human species, even for short-term gains.There are two lessons to be learnt from all this. One is that economic diversity should have been pursued more energetically a long time ago. Another is that if Canada keeps increasing its population to fuel economic growth, it will follow Europe’s path in losing its most iconic species.Canada is already becoming a country of lowered biodiversity, in which only those species that can tolerate or exploit the human presence have a chance of surviving.Humans have options and can make a living in many, ever-changing ways; non-humans do not and cannot. Extinction is forever.P.J. Cotterill, EdmontonLetters welcomeWe invite you to write letters to the editor. A maximum of 150 words is preferred. Letters must carry a first and last name, or two initials and a last name, and include an address and daytime telephone number. All letters are subject to editing. We don’t publish letters addressed to others or sent to other publications. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org