By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 0 Comments
After the Liberals and Conservatives exchanged campaign promises in April, Jim Flaherty was interviewed by Kathleen Petty on CBC radio’s The House. Here is my transcript of the portion of that conversation that dealt with health care transfers and the six percent increase.
Petty. Now let’s talk about health care because Stephen Harper, this week, along with the Liberals and we know the NDP as well, have all agreed to maintain health care transfers to the provinces to six percent as the escalator year-over-year after 2014, which is when the accord expires. But it’s not found in the platform, it’s not found in the budget, except as an assumption in 2015-16 that says that it’s subject to discussion or review, so I’m not quite sure how this is all being costed out.
Flaherty. Well, it is, I can assure you that the six percent increase is built into the fiscal track. That is, we go forward when we budget and make certain assumptions. We have assumed six percent on an ongoing basis for the Canada Health Transfer and we’re committed to that.
Petty. For how many years?
Flaherty. Well, until 2014 and then thereafter. Now, we have to negotiate…
Petty. But what’s thereafter? That’s the part I’m asking.
Flaherty. Thereafter’s at least two years…
Pause. So there’s the caveat to the six percent promise, right? Well, there might’ve been the caveat, except for the fact that the interview wasn’t over and Mr. Flaherty wasn’t done explaining himself. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, June 27, 2011 at 3:11 PM - 0 Comments
Kathleen Petty signs off as host of CBC Radio’s The House with a few final thoughts.
Hugh Segal, with whom I spoke at the beginning of the show, once wrote an editorial in support of a set of rules we implemented on this program: no more personal attacks, people talking over each other, politicians being allowed to freely throw around talking points unchallenged. That set of guiding principles meant MP panels were few and far between. We reached out more often to individual federal politicians, but we interviewed fewer of them. In part, because fewer of them were willing to agree to in-depth, one-on-one interviews. We wanted more policy discussions instead of political discussions…
I didn’t think we were really asking for much. If, in response to a question, a politician hesitated, even a little, I was reasonably confident that the answer required some thought, instead of tired talking points that require none. That in Ottawa is a victory. And that is, in my view, a problem. We talk AT each other, not WITH each other. We keep score, assign penalties, and generally treat politics as a sport. But as sports go, politics might be a great a game for participants, but not spectators or listeners. I sense a great disconnect. Why don’t Canadians vote? Perhaps, because we’re not treating them as participants – but as spectators.