The Mayor of Vancouver: Sam Sullivan

Seems awesome. One of the side-effects of living so close to Canada is that you start to get interested in their politics and culture as well as ours. Since they are hosting the next Winter Olympics, the Mayor of Vancouver, BC was in Turin to bring the flag to Canada. He is quadriplegic and in a wheelchair as a result of a skiing accident when he was 19. Part of the ceremony was that he would wave the flag. He had a special bracket attached to his motorized chair and he used that. His comment was wonderful:
"They have commented in Vancouver that we sent Canada�s worst skier to the Olympics, he said.
It seems that he is also interested in outdoors activities and is working with this amazing group: CORD - Climbing Over Restriction and Disability Society One of the climbers Brad Zdanivsky has a website: VerticalChallenge which shows some of the amazing skills and adaptations of C.O.T.S. technology that allow these people to do some jaw-dropping things.
A Quadriplegic Rock Climber
As a late teen, a car accident left rock climber Brad Zdanivsky a quadriplegic. For most people, this would put an end to their climbing aspirations. Not Brad. Instead he set his sights on climbing the mammoth Stawamus Chief, on Canada's West Coast.

Beginning in 1997 Brad set about designing and testing a device for pulling himself up this sheer rock face. Each subsequent year has seen improvements in the gear and increasingly impressive climbing successes�including Brad's ascent of the 1000-foot Grand Wall of the Chief in 2003.

Undaunted by the extraordinary challenges of this endeavor, Brad will make an attempt on the summit of the Chief in September of 2005, climbing 650 m (over 1,900 ft.) in a single day. He will be supported in this by a large number of volunteers who are inspired by Brad's vision, courage and determination to succeed.
Sure, he has a large support system setting ropes and belaying but he is doing the physical work himself. He is not some touron having their sorry ass hauled up a mountain just to say that "I did it". Brad is "doing it" really really "doing it!"

The two other stories occupying my attention these days are the decay of the Canadian public health care system
Canada's Private Clinics Surge as Public System Falters
The Cambie Surgery Center, Canada's most prominent private hospital, may be considered a rogue enterprise.

Accepting money from patients for operations they would otherwise receive free of charge in a public hospital is technically prohibited in this country, even in cases where patients would wait months or even years before receiving treatment.

But no one is about to arrest Dr. Brian Day, who is president and medical director of the center, or any of the 120 doctors who work there. Public hospitals are sending him growing numbers of patients they are too busy to treat, and his center is advertising that patients do not have to wait to replace their aching knees.

The country's publicly financed health insurance system � frequently described as the third rail of its political system and a core value of its national identity � is gradually breaking down. Private clinics are opening around the country by an estimated one a week, and private insurance companies are about to find a gold mine.

Dr. Day, for instance, is planning to open more private hospitals, first in Toronto and Ottawa, then in Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton. Ontario provincial officials are already threatening stiff fines. Dr. Day says he is eager to see them in court.

"We've taken the position that the law is illegal," Dr. Day, 59, says. "This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years."
and the election of David Emerson who campaigned as a Liberal but as soon as elected, switched to the Tory (Conservative) party. From CBC News: There oughta be a law
Is anti-defection legislation really the way to stop MPs from switching parties?
"I'm not here to do anything unethical. The moment I feel I can't serve effectively I will disappear as quickly as I arrived."
� Newly minted Conservative Industry Minister David Emerson, elected as a Liberal Jan. 23, 2006.
Canada's newest party hopper, David Emerson, clearly didn't intend to set off such a firestorm when he agreed within days of the election to cross the floor and join Stephen Harper's new Conservative government. A businessman-turned-politician only two years ago, Emerson may be forgiven for not having the finely tuned sensibilities of an old pol. His constituents, however, may not be in much of a forgiving mood.

Elected in a downtown Vancouver riding that hasn't elected a Tory since 1958, Emerson has been facing days of angry street protests, as well as grumbling in his new caucus, an opinion poll that says 62 per cent of British Columbians disapprove of what he did and a demand from his former Liberal riding association that he repay $97,000 in campaign expenses.

On top of this, the Emerson defection, following on the outrage the Tories themselves felt less than a year ago when their very own Belinda Stronach crossed to the Liberals, has renewed calls for an anti-defection law. In B.C., 77 per cent of those polled want switchers required to face their electors again in a byelection to validate their move. And NDP MP Peter Stoffer is promising to reintroduce just such a bill when the Commons reconvenes.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on March 3, 2006 11:03 PM.

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