Posts Tagged ‘Ontario’

20 years later, the Ontario Ministry of Health finally caught up with me about my old health card

First introduced in 1995 by the unpopular Ontario NDP government as a fraud reduction measure, all eligible Ontarians became subject to eventually being required to obtain a new photo ID health card, as a replacement for the old red-and-white cards.

The government laughably claimed that they would phase out all old cards by the year 2000. Fifteen years after that “deadline,” they finally caught up with me. I received a letter in the mail, asking me to obtain a photo ID card in order to retain my taxpayer-funded health care.

Some people originally thought a photo ID card was a preferred option, until they were warned that it wasn’t a good idea, because they’d have to renew it every five years and pay money for it (of course).

The funny thing is that I knew someone who, around 2006, got one of these letters in the mail and ignored it at first, thinking they would go away, only to later get a final notice of his health care being cut off if he didn’t comply. Meanwhile, he knew others who still had their cards — highlighting the seeming absolute arbitrary nature of the process. I feel somewhat special that I managed to avoid these letters for nine more years than him, despite no apparent reason for deserving such luck.

Another odd thing is how plain Social Insurance cards are still being issued by the federal government, which are required for income tax reporting and to have most jobs, unless they are under-the-table, yet the federal government still hasn’t found the need to eliminate that even bigger potential of fraud

The slackness of the replacement of these cards is typical for such a government program. It’s like the provincially-funded and operated GO Transit trains, of which I have taken two recent trips on, and they never bothered to verify whether I had purchased a ticket, and had I been the dishonest type, could’ve ridden for free. No privately-owned business would do business in this way, nor would any private business take 20 years to replace their customers’ authentication documents if fraud really was an issue that tangibly affected their bottom line.

The health card replacement plan, pitched as a way of combating fraud, was a fraud of its own sort from the beginning, since it was implemented as a feel-good measure by an unpopular government that was flagging in the opinion polls and was defeated so badly that originally lost official party recognition in the legislature after the 1995 election.

Instead of reforming the system, such as joining every other country in the world except for Cuba and North Korea, in allowing for private funds to be used to pay for primary health care, as a supplement to the taxpayer-funded system, the government decided to take the easy way out and pretend they cared about fraud when they had already wasted money on the Skydome white elephant in Toronto just so the province’s capital city could say it had the latest in stadium technology with a fully retractable roof and a Jumbotron, and go over budget by hundreds of millions of dollars.

As for that notice, I’ll be responding, soon enough. Apparently I get two more notices before they will cut me off, but even if I am in need of services, I can later apply and get reimbursed for the costs. It seems that is ironically one of the few ways to have transparency in the system, of knowing exactly how much health care costs us — aside from looking up obscure line items in a billing table — and privately fund your primary health care — but without getting reimbursed with your taxes.

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A libertarian friend of mine has a new political podcast series from a much-needed Canadian perspective. It’s called the Political Paradox Podcast.

From the first two episodes:

The Political Paradox Podcast – EP 002 – Healthcare, Government Bans and The Olympics
Posted: Tue, 18 Nov 2014 15:00:00 GMT

This week, what is the REAL cost of “Free” healthcare in Canada? You won’t believe what Ontario is looking to ban next. Plus, the outrageous list of IOC demands that prompted Norway to pull out of it’s Olympic bid.

The Political Paradox Podcast
Posted: Tue, 04 Nov 2014 15:00:00 GMT

It’s the first ever episode of the political paradox podcast. On today’s show, Paul explains what exactly a libertarian is. Then, he shares his story of how he became a libertarian.

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On the June 14, 2014 episode of Exposing Faux Capitalism with Jason Erb, I discussed the following recent issues of the past week in the audio here:

Ontario’s recent election, Libertarian breakthrough, Freedom Party’s balanced budget gimmick, Ellen Brown got the most votes of any third-party contender for California Treasurer, and Canada’s Supreme Court decision requiring warrants for all internet user requests.

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Freedom Party of Ontario leaders Paul McKeever was on Sun News Network on May 29, 2014 to outline his party’s balanced budget plan for Ontario.

The guest host was understandably interested in how the Freedom Party of Ontario would purport to do this, since Ontario’s deficit currently sits at $12 billion.

Their solution? McKeever explains at 2:30, that they would take health care off-budget by making it a Crown Corporation, and introduce competition. I like the second part, but the first part comes across as a total gimmick.

It’s reminiscent of PC Leader Tim Hudak’s 2011 election campaign gimmick of promising to pay off Ontario’s hydro debt by only paying the principal, and not the interest. Wouldn’t that be nice for average homeowners, to tell their bank that they’ve paid off their mortgage after paying back only the principal? You’d be laughed out of the bank, and after two missed payments, they’d foreclose on your home. Yet gimmicks like this pass as legitimate discourse in politics today.

Overall, the Ontario Freedom Party would, in principle, bring some much-needed relief from increasing government control over our lives, but I like the Ontario Libertarian Party, except for where they aren’t running candidates this election. And if you don’t have either an OLP or OFP candidate in your riding, consider declining your ballot, which will effectively serve as a vote for “none of the above.”

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During the June 3 TVO debate on issues facing the 416 (Toronto) ridings in the run-up to the June 12, 2014 Ontario provincial election, Green Party of Ontario candidate for York Centre, Joshua Borenstein, mentioned a modified version of John Turmel’s Argentine Solution (at 30m).

John Turmel is the founder of the Paupers Party and I interviewed him as a 2012 Kitchener-Waterloo byelection candidate, when he was promoting the “Argentine Solution” of paying Ontario government workers with a portion of their salary in Ontario government bonds in lieu of pay. That way, savings could be had in the short-term until the bonds come due, and no money would have to be borrowed directly from banks in order to issue them.

Joshua Borenstein suggested a modified version of the plan, saying that Ontario should provide tax credits to Ontario public sector employees, which they could then redeem on their 2014 tax filing next year.

These are exactly the kind of alternative ideas that the three main parties (Liberal, PC and NDP) are not offering voters, and why we need more alternative voices in these discussions, such as the Ontario Libertarian Party.

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In the run-up to the June 12, 2014 Ontario provincial election, Allen Small, Ontario Libertarian Party leader, was interviewed by the Sun News Network on June 4.

Once again, the private sector continues to lead in providing alternative voices that the public sector claims to offer, despite Ontario’s public broadcaster, TVO, deciding not to provide any TV coverage of the Ontario Libertarian Party, despite its 74 candidates, which could theoretically form a majority government for the first time in its history.

For more on Allen Small, see my comprehensive March 20, 2014 interview with him.

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As part of my alternative Ontario provincial election coverage, in interviewing the Ontario Libertarian Party candidates in my area of Kitchener-Waterloo, here is my 8-minute interview with OLP candidate for Kitchener-Waterloo, James Schulz.

Here are my interviews with Kitchener Centre OLP candidate Patrick Bernier and Kitchener-Conestoga OLP candidate David Schumm.

There was an audio issue that resulted in my questions and commentary not being heard, so enjoy the chance to only hear a candidate’s own words!

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