The 2004 federal-provincial health accord recently completed its 10-year run, and expired on schedule. Though heralded at the time of its signing as a landmark agreement that would solve many of the wait times issues plaguing Canada's healthcare system, in retrospect it achieved very little and was very expensive to boot.
The economic news coming out of Ontario in recent days has been far from positive. The province's economic and fiscal position is weak and new analysis released by the Ministry of Finance suggests its economy will remain sluggish for the foreseeable future.
Imagine receiving a credit card bill that totaled $243,476. This would no doubt be a shock for most Canadians. But if you add up all the liabilities of every Canadian government "federal, provincial, and local" that is in fact how much each taxpayer would owe of the $4.1 trillion total in direct debt and unfunded liabilities.
This admittedly is a very large number and much bigger than what is usually talked about by both politicians and pundits alike. So let's deconstruct it to gain a better understanding.
A recent testimony before a U.S. Senate subcommittee by Dr. Danielle Martin, former head of the Canadian Doctors for Medicare, has given Canadians the chance to indulge in what may be a favourite pastime - criticizing the American health care system.