Can the health care system be fixed?
Despite being against the Canada Health Act, we already have parallel, private sector options within Canada, both in Quebec and British Columbia. We need to fight for the ability to have private delivery with public funding, in addition to a permission for private health care. We likely all know someone who has either been forced to or made the personal decision to cross the border to get medical treatment in another country, be it the United States or another nation.
We must either be open to reimbursing Albertans for a portion or all of this cost, or make arrangements to have specialty procedures paid for out of province, wherever that may be.
The government is responsible for our health, at least in the medically required procedures. We must keep this in mind. I am not against non-medically necessary operations being done at the expense of the individual who chooses, of their own volition, to have the procedure done.
What are your thoughts on marijuana legalization?
I consider marijuana to be similar to alcohol - while it may not cause you any permanent physiological harm if used in moderation, it is a substance that has negative effects on individuals mental state and the community at large. I do not agree that it should have been legalized, but Trudeau won a majority government running on this platform (and one of forcing a carbon tax on us, according to some) and it may be the only accomplishment he may claim, even as all the details are left entirely up to the provinces.
It is at this point where I might have something to say on the issue, as the rules of sale and consumption does fall into a provincial scope. I do not believe the government should be involved, either in the direct sale of marijuana, nor in the wholesale, as we do with alcohol. We must learn from the problems we and other provinces have with alcohol (taxation and distribution) and, in the case of traffic enforcement, ensure a proper system of testing exists. Unlike alcohol and smoking, second hand smoke is capable of affecting other individuals, and while, when it was illegal, users made an effort to hide their use, once it is legal people won’t have that same stigma, and feel much more free to use it in public.
Personally, this is not a substance I want to see my kids use, but as noted, we have decided that this is something we as a society will accept. I do not agree with that decision, but it is something that will likely not be turned around unless some major societal change takes place.