Coming up this weekend is Remembrance Day and because November 11 is falling on Sunday, the community should note that it has resulted in some changes to local Remembrance Day Services. This year, the service at Morrisburg Royal Canadian Legion Branch 48 is being held on Saturday, November 10, at 10 a.m. The service at Crysler’s Farm Battlefield Monument is on Sunday, November 11 at 9 a.m. Service, conducted annually by the Iroquois Legion Branch 370 at Matilda Hall in Dixon’s Corners, will be on Sunday, November 11 at 2 p.m. The Iroquois Legion service was of course this past Sunday.
My car is getting elderly. It’s of 2007 vintage. In dog years, that’s about 180. In car years, around 3,000. Even though my car doesn’t have a lot of kilometres on it, (just under […]
While celebrating the start of the New Year, many Canadians take the time to set some New Years Resolutions. Many of those resolutions focus on eating healthier, exercising more, or perhaps cutting back on some bad habits. That’s why I thought it would be timely to discuss the topic of health care in Canada.
Health care is one of the topics that my constituents consistently identify as a key priority. It affects everyone, either themselves directly or a family member.
Every time I send out questionnaires on issues that are most important to constituents, health care is in the top three. Each and everyone of us has had to use the health care system at one time or another.
Generally speaking, Canada’s health care system is one of the best in the world. I am quick to acknowledge that our system is not perfect; sometimes constituents feel they deserve better service, but this is the exception rather than the rule.
To clarify our political structure, the federal government does not directly operate and direct the expenditures of health care services. That is the role of our elected provincial governments. In our case, the Ontario government at Queen’s Park is responsible for organizing our hospitals and long-term care homes, among many other front line health care services.
In addition to national health research and having the lead on international health prevention programs, the federal government still plays a very important role in health care by providing billions of dollars each year in transfer payments to provincial governments for health and social services.
Those receiving less than perfect service when they go to a hospital or to a doctor often believe that the poor service is due to lack of funding. I can assure you this is not the case with the federal government’s funding model. When we compare the funds invested in health care by our federal government here in Canada to other countries, it is evident there is solid financial support for the system to provide top quality care.
In 2015-16, the Government of Ontario will receive $20.4 billion through major transfers– an increase of $9.6 billion from 2005-06. Yes, you read that right: over $20 billion dollars is given to the Ontario government each year by the federal government to assist with health and social programs. And it is growing more each and every year going forward.
Comparatively, it is alarming to see how little investment is made in health care in some countries. I recently came across statistics from the World Bank that confirm this argument. It is shocking to note that the annual health care spending (in US dollars) per capita in Gambia is $26. Here are some other examples:
Kenya spends $45
South Africa $645
Among G-7 countries:
United Kingdom $3,647,
and the United States spends $8,895 in their private, insurance-based health care system.
In comparison, Canada spends $5,741 on our public universal health care system for every Canadian man, woman, and child.
I believe we are fortunate here in Canada when it comes to health care services. Locally in SDSG, we have two state of the art hospitals, great doctors and nurses, and a dedicated sector of health care workers ready to look after our needs.
As your federal Member of Parliament, I will continue to ensure that we increase our financial transfers to provincial governments each and every year to maintain and provide good quality health care to you and your family.
Last but not least, good luck with your New Years Resolutions!
A Week of Sadness–Thank God for Prayer
This past Friday evening I was sitting in the kitchen having a cup of tea when it occurred to me that the week had been one of great sadness.
Who can explain the actions of the people responsible for the deaths and injuries that happened when two bombs exploded in Boston during the running of the annual marathon? Our lament of “Why?” can be heard around the world with no answer coming – at least not as soon as we would like.
Yet through the tears and the pain we are called, by Jesus, to pray for those responsible and their families just as we are called to pray for the families of the people who died and who were injured. That is definitely not an easy thing for us to do.
That was Monday. Then there was Tuesday.
Ironically, I was in Winchester when I heard the news of George Beverly Shea’s death. When I first moved into the area, many people told me about Winchester being the birthplace of George Beverly Shea with great pride. You can imagine the looks that I received when I asked “Who’s George Beverly Shea?” I was not long in finding out!
A man of great faith; a man with a gentle soul; a man with a powerful voice that brought joy to the hearts of so very many people throughout the world – that was George Beverly Shea. The people of not only Winchester, but all of Dundas County claim him as their own. He will be missed and we pray for his family and friends as they mourn their loss.
On the drive home from Winchester I was listening to the radio and heard the report of the untimely death of Rita MacNeil. One of Canada’s rare gems, Ms. MacNeil sang her way into the hearts of many of us.
She was a woman of faith. Her music came from the very core of her being and you could tell that about her.
I had the privilege of seeing Rita in concert in Kitchener several years ago, and I left the concert smiling, refreshed and ready to meet whatever came next – not something that happens regularly, I think. I know that I am truly saddened by her death as are the people of Cape Breton. Rita, too, will be sorely missed and we pray for her family and friends as they grieve.
And then there was Wednesday.
You never know when your world will rock. The people of the small community of West, Texas had theirs rock when a fertilizer plant exploded after a fire had started. The numbers of casualties from that horrible event numbers in the hundreds. The loss of life is staggering, not to mention the injuries sustained by people who live near the plant. People’s lives have been overturned in so many ways and yet they speak of when they will go back to their homes and do what they can to get their lives back to some sense of normal, grieving their dead and praying for the injured.
We, too, pray for that community as the people struggle to come to terms with such an overwhelming disaster.
“Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord. And let light perpetual shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”
I wonder what next week will bring.
Rev. Sue McCullough
Anglican Parish of Morrisburg, Iroquois & Riverside Heights