December 09, 2010

What is the difference between A Surgical Facility being built in Canada and a Oil Sands Project being proposed in Utah?
























When it comes to NAFTA a big difference and that’s the problem!

By Melvin J. Howard

Enter a small Alberta Canadian start-up company called Earth Energy Resources Inc. That wants to dig up Utah to find out if its unproven technology can produce 2000 barrels of oil a day. Excuse me does the word Peak Oil mean anything? In a day in age when even big oil companies are starting to seriously explore green technology do we need another ugly pit in the ground? I remember going to the La Brea tar pits in California the education part of the field trip was very informative but you could smell it miles away. Environmentally this is a disaster inspite of Earth Energy Resources nice sounding name. Nature has figured out some excellent ways to moderate the flow of water on its own to manage flood and drought risk and also to clean water so that the waste of one process can get all cleaned up and ready for another process. This all happens through water's interaction with the land and with the ultimate Central Banker - the Central Banker of Energy, the Sun. Humans have absolutely no control over the Energy Central Banker. All they can control is the things that store the sun's energy like plants and animals that eat plants, and also they can go find the sources of other stored solar energy in the form of old squashed dead plants and animals, called oil and coal. All these activities plus all of the human monetary-system driven development of land effect the land on earth, not the Energy Central Banker. So the land is what we focus on in considering the link between the water cycle and the money cycle that forms the basis of our economy.

The way that nature manages flood and drought risk is really through plants and soils which are, of course, the very best of friends - the soils being largely made up of decaying leaves and trees, and the plants needing the soils for food. The soils store lots of the rain as groundwater and they are kept in place by tree roots. Some of this water the trees might like for later when they get a bit thirsty, and other ground water might fall to an underground aquifer or run off slowly into a stream in the watershed.

Having lots of plants and rich soils in a watershed means that when there is lots of rain the ground will soak up lots of the excess water and this will help mitigate flood risk. When it's been a long time between rains you can rely on the groundwater in the aquifer or the groundwater gradually seeping into a nearby stream to provide a steady flow of water from earlier rains. This helps mitigate drought risk.

As for natures water cleansing functions the trees keeping the soils in place prevent excessive amounts of mud, clay, sand and salt from sliding into the stream. The soils and the little microorganisms living in them are very fond of waste products that most other living things would find rather unappetizing. Them and other little critters living in or near the stream often perform water cleaning and filtering functions that help to make the water useable for others. The trees sweat off some water through evapo-transpiration helping to cool the stream area so that all the critters that live there that have an important role in the water cycle can stay at a nice temperature to do all their work. Having such a water cycle on our planet makes a lot of sense given that gravity would otherwise drain all the water to the salty sea and sea-water is not very drinkable. This whole business of evaporation and rainfall to replenish all living things that need fresh water is quite sensible and, of course, life as we know it would not exist without an efficient water cycle. A prosperous human society cannot exist without an efficient water cycle. All these being the processes of Mother Nature they obey what we humans have interpreted to be the natural laws of physics, most especially they obey two important energy laws - the First and Second laws of Thermodynamics - that have never ever found to be violated by any process. Water obeys these natural laws. Money, being a purely human abstraction, does not.

The First Law of Thermodynamics is the Law of Conservation of Energy. This says that the amount of energy in the universe is fixed and you can’t create new energy or destroy existing energy. When it comes to the planet Earth, we get new energy to the earth from another source in the universe, called the Sun. Apart from all the energy that we have stored in and on earth and the daily dose of sunlight we have no other energy available to us. This is perhaps the primary reason humans have seen fit to develop markets - that is, to allocate this scarce resource of energy.

If the laws of Thermodynamics had just stopped there, all would be right with the world! Under the conservation of energy I could just fill my car with gas, stick a little collector in the exhaust pipe and recycle all the energy I just used and fill my car back up, since I know that energy will be conserved. I only ever have to buy one tank of gas in my life. Buy one load of electricity to heat my home for my whole life Id just recycle everything over and over. Energy companies would go bankrupt, there would be no wars in the Middle East, and the stock market would collapse because no-one could make money from selling energy.

OK there’s a catch. And that’s the very important Second Law of Thermodynamics. The ENTROPY Law. The law that sits right at the heart of the conflict between man and nature. ENTROPY is a measure of disorder in terms of the usefulness of energy. Low entropy means very useful energy. High entropy means quite useless energy cant use it for another process, its not organized enough. The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that Entropy always increases as energy is used. Therefore, once you have used all the gas in your tank, even though the driving process left the same amount of energy from the gas in the world, that energy has become pretty useless so that you cant re-use it. This law then really creates the scarcity of energy and the primary motivation for using markets to allocate it.

So how does the market deal with the Entropy Law? The answer to that would be Not at all! While it is true that the Entropy Law contributes greatly to the scarcity that gives rise to the need for markets you will not find the Entropy Law mentioned in mainstream economics textbooks. Modern money and capital markets, and contemporary economics have been built up IGNORING the most fundamental laws of nature. It is interesting to consider who runs things most efficiently - the Markets or Mother Nature? Given that the most desirable outcome of the water cycle, even from a human-centered point of view, is a stable, secure flow of clean water one would have to conclude that Mother Nature arranges the most efficient allocation of energy, for, in the natural processes there are no waste products, and solar energy is used to its maximum. Every player in the natural water cycle does some work in the water cycle and various related nutrient cycles and their waste products get used as input into some other process in these cycles. Nothing is wasted and everything fits together to form a whole cycle that has evolved over millions of years and that we are the beneficiaries of today. Nature's water cycle seems to have taken the Entropy law into consideration and then optimized energy use within this boundary condition.

Enter Man

But then we Humans come along with fears of scarcity, markets and a monetary system that ultimately depends on alteration of the land for its survival and for the survival of the markets. But most alterations to the natural landscape then disturb Mother Nature's maximally energy efficient water cycle in several common ways. These are common things that have happened all across the globe:

  • First, deforestation exposes soils and causes soils, sediment and salt to rush into the stream at the next rainfall. You end up with salty water and/or sediment that kills off lots of the plants and critters that had important roles in the water cycle such as water filtration.
  • Second, the loss of soil and vegetation, coupled with impervious surface coverage such as roads, car-parks and buildings means that water can no longer seep into the ground as is very important in mitigating flood and drought risk. The frequency of flood and drought increases.
  • Human activity in watersheds (real estate, mining, logging, intense farming and so forth) and the loss of filtering systems through the loss of vegetation and soils means more and more pollutants are entering the water sources.
  • The practice of building dams either for hydropower or for storing water in a place that doesn't have enough, and the practice of channelling water to places that don't have much, has been responsible for massive loss of aquatic life, flooding and drastic alteration to affected watersheds and local water cycles.

Then we market-oriented humans come along and say, "Now we have a water problem. Let's use some market mechanisms to fix it." In fact a lot of the market-oriented people go so far as to say - "Let's privatize the water - they think that this pure market solution will fix everything can you believe this? " And they say this perhaps forgetting that it was market forces that got us into this problem in the first place.

All this is not to say that us humans should not have markets for other things or should not alter the land. Rather it is a wake up call to build a much better world and make more efficient use of our energy. Ultimately this would mean a paradigm shift in the way land is developed so as to retain enough natural resources for million of years to come. But the ultimate question I have for my government is why would you allow a Canadian start-up company to come in and dig up the beautiful land of Utah and spoil the environment on untested technology. Then allow the government of Canada to block our efforts to build a state of the art (Green) surgical facility? Is this way NAFTA WAS SUPPOSE TO WORK giving Canada undo advantage time and time again?



By Steve Hargreaves, senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A plan to bring the first oil sands development to the United States is drawing stiff opposition from environmentalists concerned about global warming and water use, but backers of the project insist their new process is safe.

Earth Energy Resources, a small Canadian start-up, wants to produce 2,000 barrels of oil a day using oil sands from a site in northeast Utah. Oil sands are just that - sand laced with a heavy oil known as bitumen.

The sands are plentiful in parts of the western United States and in Canada's Alberta province, the latter exporting over 1 million barrels of oil a day to America. Some estimates say there are more oil sands and other unconventional forms of oil in North America than there is light oil under the Saudi desert. But oil sands production is expensive and usually comes with high environmental costs.The sand itself is often extracted by open-pit mining, an unsightly process that can lead to ground water contamination and other environmental issues. And separating the oil from the sand requires massive amounts of heat, chemical solvents, and water, which many say makes the sands an unworthy endeavor. Water usage is what has kept the operation largely out of the dry Western states.


Earth Energy says it has a novel process that uses half the water of their Alberta cousins and an eco-friendly, citrus-based solvent.Standard oil sands production uses about 126 gallons of water for every barrel of oil.


Land has been leased and trial tests conducted. If it all works out, Earth Energy will sell the oil to a refiner in the area, which will then turn it into diesel fuel, heating oil, kerosene, or a variety of other heavy-oil products.

What the company needs now is $35 million in scale-up funding, and a challenge from environmentalists to go away.

"This process makes absolutely no sense," said John Weisheit, a former river guide who's now the conservation director for Living Rivers, the local branch of the Waterkeeper Alliance. "Utah is the second driest state in the country. Even if it took just a drop of water, there's not even that."

Earth Energy has already obtained the rights to extract ground water in Utah, but Weisheit says those permits don't take into account how climate change will affect an already dwindling water supply.

Weisheit said the amount of water in the local watershed is expected to fall by 20% over the next couple of decades. He said water levels have already dropped by more than that over the last decade.

He doesn't believe there will be enough to support oil sands development and the needs of the people and industry that already depend on water from this region.

Plus, oil sands will make global warming worse.

Because of the energy needed to separate the oil from the sand, Weisheit said this operation results in three times the carbon emissions as a conventional oil well.

"Let's get real and deal with the real problem," he said, "We're running out of oil. We don't need to eviscerate the environment to get every last drop."

Living Rivers has hired lawyers to fight the project. They lost a plea to state regulators to revoke Earth Energy's permit back in September, but are appealing that decision. The hearing is set for January. If that fails, the group is planning on going to court.

Earth Energy would like to get all this behind them before ramping up production.

The company already faces huge challenges. Analysts say raising the massive sums of money necessary to develop the economies of scale that can compete with the energy giants is the hardest part for a start-up in this space. Forget $35 million, Big Oil drops billions on a single project.

Earth Energy's new technology is unproven on a large scale and it's uncertain whether oil sands production in the Untied States will ever take off. The U.S. Energy Information Administration doesn't address it in its long-range forecast, citing the fact that no major firms have shown interest in it.

As for the environmental challenges, Earth Energy CEO Glen Snarr says they are overblown.

While oil sands may take more energy to produce, they only emit 5% to 15% more carbon than traditional oil over their entire lifecycle, according to a report from Cambridge Energy Research Associates. That's mainly because most of the emissions come from actually burning the stuff in an engine, not in the extraction process.

And global warming or not, the company clearly believes there's plenty of water in Utah to get the job done.

"We're not in this to lose money," said Snarr. "We're in this to produce oil in an environmentally sustainable manor."


Remember what I said earlier "Then we market-oriented humans come along and say, "Now we have a water problem. Let's use some market mechanisms to fix it."

December 05, 2010

NAFTA Since 2003 Canada knew of our plans to build health facilities this proves my point Free Trade does not mean Fair Trade


























Regular Board-Minutes
This event starts on May 13, 2003 and Runs through May 13, 2003

REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NANAIMO
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD
OF THE REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NANAIMO HELD ON
TUESDAY, MAY 13, 2003, AT 7:30 PM IN THE
RDN BOARD CHAMBERS
Present:

Director J. Stanhope Chairperson
Alternate
Director H. Kreiberg Electoral Area A
Director G. Lund Electoral Area B
Director E. Hamilton Electoral Area C
Director D. Haime Electoral Area D
Alternate
Director H. Webster Electoral Area E
Director L. Biggemann Electoral Area F
Director D. Bartram Electoral Area H
Alternate
Director F. Demmon City of Parksville
Director T. Westbroek Town of Qualicum Beach
Alternate
Director D. Tyndall City of Nanaimo
Director R. Cantelon City of Nanaimo
Director T. Krall City of Nanaimo
Director L. Sherry City of Nanaimo
Director L. McNabb City of Nanaimo
Director B. Holdom City of Nanaimo

Also in Attendance:
C. Mason Gen. Mgr. of Corporate Services
J. Finnie Gen. Mgr. of Environmental Services
B. Lapham Gen. Mgr. of Development Services
N. Connelly Gen. Mgr. of Community Services
M. Pearse Manager of Administrative Services

The Chairperson welcomed Alternate Directors Kreiberg, Webster, Demmon and Tyndall to the meeting.

DELEGATIONS

Melvin Howard, Chairman & CEO, Centurion Health Corporation, re Community Hospital for District 69.

Mr. Howard explained his Company’s role in providing health financing options to communities interested in entering into public private partnerships for health care facilities.

Rich Mennie, District 69 Hospice Society, re National Hospice Palliative Care Month.

Ms. Betsy Christian provided information with respect to the Hospice Palliative Care program in District 69.

Steve Atkinson, re DP No. 60318 – Steven & Janet Atkinson – Jameson Road – Area D.

Mr. Atkinson requested the Board amend the conditions contained in the staff report to be consistent with the convenant outlining the setbacks from the creek and with the creek crossing conditions from the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection.

LATE DELEGATIONS

MOVED Director Krall, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that the late delegations be permitted to speak.

CARRIED


Victoria Storrie, re DP Application 60317 – Fern Road consulting Ltd., on behalf of Seascape Properties Ltd., G & R Basaraba, & D & J Barwise – Flamingo Drive & Kinkade Road – Area G.

Ms. Storrie voiced her concerns with respect to DP Application 60317 as it related to water, sewer and possible runoff.

Brian & Maureen Irwin, re DVP Application No. 90307 – Irwin – 771 Mariner Way, and DVP Application No. 90309 – Homes by Kimberly on Behalf of Walsh – 777 Mariner Way – Area G.

Mr. Irwin reviewed his house extension proposal and requested the Board to approve the request.

Mr. Irwin spoke in opposition of DVP Application 90309 for the accessory building proposed on the property next door.

BOARD MINUTES

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Krall, that the minutes of the special Board meeting held on March 25, 2003 and the regular Board meeting held on April 8, 2003 be adopted.

CARRIED

COMMUNICATIONS/CORRESPONDENCE

Gabriel Hadrovic, re French Creek Water System.

MOVED Director Cantelon, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that the correspondence from Gabriel Hadrovic with respect to the French Creek water system, be received.

CARRIED

Lois Trudeau Pennell, re DP No. 60301 – Juthans/Murphy – 5489 Deep Bay Drive – Area H.

MOVED Director Cantelon, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that the correspondence from Lois Trudeau Pennell with respect to Development Permit application No. 60301, be received.

CARRIED

W. Katerenchuk, re DP No. 60319 – Fairway Pointe Properties Ltd. – 730 Barclay Crescent – Area G.

MOVED Director Cantelon, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that the correspondence from W. Katerenchuk with respect to Development Permit application No. 60319, be received.

CARRIED

A. H. Knappett, re DP Application No. 60301 – Juthans/Murphy – 5489 Deep Bay Drive – Area H.

MOVED Director Cantelon, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that the correspondence from A. H. Knappett with respect to DP Application No. 60301 be received.

CARRIED

Glen & Lona Dennis, re DP Application No. 60315 – Wiseman – Strata Lot 387, South Lake Road – Area H.

MOVED Director Cantelon, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that the correspondence from Glen and Lona Dennis with respect to DP Application No. 60315 be received.

CARRIED

Peter & Shawn Koronko, re DVP Application No. 0304 – Melvyn – Seaview Drive – Area H.

MOVED Director Cantelon, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that the correspondence from Peter & Shawn Koronko with respect to DVP Application No. 0304 be received.

CARRIED

Lorraine Davis & Mrs. M. Mathews, re DVP Application No. 90309 – Homes by Kimberly on behalf of Walsh – 777 Mariner Way – Area E.

MOVED Director Cantelon, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that the correspondence from Lorraine Davis and Mrs. M. Mathews with respect to DVP Application No. 90308 be received.

CARRIED

Bob & Sharon Honeyman, re DVP Application No. 90309 – Homes by Kimberly on behalf of Walsh – 777 Mariner Way – Area G.

MOVED Director Cantelon, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that the correspondence from Bob and Sharon Honeyman with respect to DVP Application No. 90309 be received.

CARRIED

Alan & Elizabeth Campbell, re DVP Application No. 90309 – Homes by Kimberly on Behalf of Walsh – 777 Mariner Way – Area G.

MOVED Director Cantelon, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that the correspondence from Alan and Elizabeth Campbell with respect to DVP Application No. 90309 be received.

CARRIED

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

BYLAWS

Bylaw No. 500.288 – Northern Star Developments Ltd. – Anderson Avenue – Area H.

MOVED Director Bartram, SECONDED Director Haime, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Land Use and Subdivision Bylaw Amendment Bylaw No. 500.288, 2002" be adopted.

CARRIED

Report of the Public Hearing held May 1, 2003 with Respect to Bylaw No. 841.08 & 500.291 – Michael Rosen & Associates on Behalf of Englishman River Land Corporation – off Kay Road – Area G.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Haime, that the Report of Public Hearing containing the Summary of Minutes and Submissions of the Public Hearing held on May 1, 2003 as a result of public notification of "Regional District of Nanaimo Englishman River Official Community Plan Bylaw Amendment Bylaw No. 814.08, 2003" and "Regional District of Nanaimo Land Use and Subdivision Bylaw Amendment Bylaw No. 500.291, 2003" be received.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Bartram, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Englishman River Official Community Plan Bylaw Amendment Bylaw No. 814.03, 2003" and "Regional District of Nanaimo Land Use and Subdivision Bylaw Amendment Bylaw No. 500.291, 2003" as amended, be given 3rd reading and be referred to the Ministry of Community, Aboriginal, and Women’s Services and the Ministry of Transportation for approvals.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Haime, that staff be directed to secure the conditions as outlined in Schedule No. 1 prior to consideration of adoption.

CARRIED

ELECTORAL AREA PLANNING STANDING COMMITTEE

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Bartram, that the minutes of the Electoral Area Planning Committee meeting held April 22, 2003 be received for information.

CARRIED

PLANNING

DEVELOPMENT PERMIT APPLICATIONS

DP Application No. 60301 – Juthans/Murphy – 5489 Deep Bay Drive – Area H.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Bartram, that Development Permit Application No. 60301, submitted by Sven Juthans and Colleen Murphy, for the property legally described as Lot 39, District Lot1, Newcastle District, Plan 20442, requesting to:

1. Vary the minimum setback for the front lot line:
(a) From 8.0 metres to 2.8 metres to accommodate the existing garage and courtyard.
(b) From 8.0 metres to 0.0 metres to accommodate the existing woodshed.

2. Vary the eastern interior lot line setback:
(a) From 2.0 metres to 0.7 metres to accommodate the existing workshop at the rear of the parcel.
(b) From 2.0 metres to 0.0 metres to accommodate the existing woodshed.

3. Vary the minimum setback requirement from the natural boundary:
(a) From 15 metres to 6.9 metres to accommodate the existing workshop at the rear of the parcel.
(b) From 15 metres to 4.5 metres to accommodate the existing retaining wall.
(c) From 15 metres to 9.6 metres to allow for the placement of a hot tub structure within the development permit area.

be approved subject to the conditions outlined in Schedules No. 1, 2 and 3 and subject to the notification requirements pursuant to the Local Government Act.

CARRIED

DP Application No. 60310 – Schulze – 7922 Alison Road – Area D.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Haime, that Development Permit Application No. 60310, by Fritz Schulze and Ludmilla Schulze with variance to relax the minimum ‘water course’ setback requirement from 15.0 metres horizontal distance to 10.0 metres horizontal distance for the property legally described as Lot 1, Nanoose Indian Reserve, Nanoose District, Plan 39482 and situated at 7922 Alison Road to accommodate an addition to a garage be approved subject to Schedules No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 and the notification requirements pursuant to the Local Government Act.

CARRIED

DP Application No. 60315 – Wiseman – Strata Lot 387, South Lake Road – Area H.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Bartram, that Development Permit Application No. 60315 submitted by Bruce Wiseman to vary the minimum setback to an adjacent watercourse from 15 metres to 8 metres and to permit the construction of a new recreational residence and structural deck within the Environmentally Sensitive and Hazard Lands Development Permit Areas on the property legally described as Strata Lot 26, District Lot 251, Alberni District, Plan VIS5160, be approved subject to the requirements outlined in Schedules No. 1, 2 and 3 and the notification requirements pursuant to the Local Government Act.

CARRIED

DP Application No. 60317 – Fern Road Consulting Ltd., on behalf of Seascape Properties Ltd., G & R Basaraba, & D & J Barwise – Flamingo Drive & Kinkade Road – Area G.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Bartram, that Development Permit Application No. 60317, submitted by Fern Road Consulting on behalf of Seascape Properties Limited, G & R Basaraba, & D & J Barwise for the properties legally described as Lots 1 to 6, District Lot 10, Newcastle District, Plan VIP73563 to facilitate future construction of six dwelling units with variances as well as the construction of permitted accessory buildings including garages and landscape features be approved, subject to the conditions outlined in Schedules No. 1, 2 and 3 of the staff report and subject to the notification requirements pursuant to the Local Government Act.

CARRIED

DP Application No. 60318 – Steven & Janet Atkinson – Jameson Road – Area D.

MOVED Director Haime, SECONDED Director Bartram, that Development Permit Application No. 60318 submitted by Steven and Janet Atkinson, to allow for a 4-lot subdivision designated within the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Development Permit Area pursuant to the "Regional District of Nanaimo East Wellington – Pleasant Valley Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 1055, 1997" on the property legally described as Lot B, Block 2, Section 12, Ranges 3 & 4, Mountain District, Plan VIP68030 be approved, subject to the conditions outlined in Schedules No. 1 and 2 of the corresponding staff report, and the amendment to Schedule No. 1 condition 3a to permit buildings and structures to be located a minimum of 15.0m from the top of the bank/18.0m from the center line of the watercourse and the amendment to condition 2a/2b to read: (a) there shall be no additional crossings of Fleming Creek, including cluverts or bridging, without prior approval of the Ministry of Air, Land and Water and (b) there shall be no crossings of Fleming Creek for the purposes of providing any service pipes or lines including domestic water or septic disposal pipes or lines, without prior approval of the Ministry of Air, Land and Water.

CARRIED

DP Application No. 60319 – Fairway Pointe Properties Ltd. – 730 Barclay Crescent – Area G.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Bartram, that Development Permit Application No. 60319 submitted by Fairway Pointe Properties Ltd. For the property legally described as Lot D, District Lot 126, Nanoose District, Plan 49145, be approved, subject to the conditions outlined in Schedules No. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the corresponding staff report and to the notification procedure subject to the Local Government Act with respect to the proposed variances to Bylaw No. 500, 1987 subject to the requested variance included as item no. 2 in Schedule No. 2 being withdrawn.

CARRIED

DP Application No. 60320 – Roy/Sims – 3371 Blueback Drive – Area E.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Webster, that Development Permit Application No. 60320, submitted by Fern Road Consulting/Roy to legalize a retaining wall sited a minimum of 8.2 m from the natural boundary with the Nanoose Bay Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 1118, 1998 Watercourse Protection Development Permit Area on the property legally described as Lot 28, District Lot 78, Nanoose District, Plan 15983, be approved subject to the requirements outlined in Schedules No. 1, 2 and 3.

CARRIED

DP Application No. 60322 – Intracorp Developments Ltd./Fairwinds – Andover Road/Goodrich Road – Area E.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Webster, that Development Permit Application No. 60322 by Intracorp Development Ltd. for the property legally described as Lot 27, District Lots 8 and 78, Nanoose District, Plan VIP 73214 be approved subject to the conditions outlined in Schedules No. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the corresponding staff report and to the notification requirements pursuant to the Local Government Act with respect to the proposed variances to Bylaw No. 500, 1987.

CARRIED

DEVELOPMENT VARIANCE PERMIT APPLICATIONS

DVP Application No. 0304 – Melvyn – Seaview Drive – Area H.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Bartram, that Development Variance Permit Application No. 0304, submitted by Fern Road Consulting, Agent, on behalf of Anthony Melvyn, to facilitate the development of a single dwelling unit and to legalize the existing rip rap retaining wall within a Residential 2 (RS2) zone by varying the minimum permitted setback to an interior side lot line from 2.0 metres to 0.0 metres, and to a watercourse from 18.0 metres horizontal distance from a stream centerline to 0.0 metres for the retaining wall and 10.5 metres for the dwelling unit, and to vary the maximum permitted height of a dwelling unit from 8.0 metres to 4.572 metres as measured from the existing fill grade, for the property legally described as Lot 3, District Lot 28, Newcastle District, Plan 22249, be approved, subject to notification procedures pursuant to the Local Government Act and subject to the conditions outlined in Schedule No. 1.

CARRIED

DVP Application No. 90307 – Irwin – 771 Mariner Way – Area G.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Biggemann, that Development Variance Permit Application No. 90307, submitted by Maureen Irwin, to vary the minimum permitted setback within the Residential 1 (RS1) zone from 2.0 metres to 1.1 metres for the interior side lot line in order to facilitate the construction of a single-storey addition to an existing dwelling unit for the property legally described as Lot C, District Lot 181, Nanoose District and Part of the Bed of the Strait of Georgia, Plan VIP72454 be approved subject to Schedules No. 1, 2 and 3 of the staff report and the notification requirements pursuant to the Local Government Act.

CARRIED

DVP Application No. 90308 – Neale – 3495 Bluebill Place – Area E.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Haime, that Development Variance Permit Application No. 90308 to relax the ‘interior side lot line’ setback requirement from 2.0 metres to 0.5 metres for the siting and construction of an attached garage and to relax the minimum ‘interior side lot line’ setback requirement from 2.0 metres to 0.0 metres to legalize the siting of an existing accessory building for the property legally described as Lot 53, District Lot 78, Nanoose District, Plan 15983 be approved, subject to Schedules No. 1, 2, and 3 and to the notification requirements pursuant to the Local Government Act.

CARRIED

DVP Application No. 90309 – Homes by Kimberly on Behalf of Walsh – 777 Mariner Way – Area G.

Ms. Sharon Honeyman stated that she was not in support of this application.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Haime, that Development Variance Permit Application No. 90309, to relax the minimum interior side lot line setback requirement from 2.0 metres to 0.5 metres to accommodate the siting of an accessory building for the property legally described as Lot E, District Lot 181, Nanoose District and Part of the Bed of the Strait of Georgia Plan VIP72668 be denied.

CARRIED

FRONTAGE RELAXATION

Request for Relaxation of the Minimum 10% Frontage Requirement – Leo Smith & Marilyn Rae Smith – Hobson’s Road – Area D.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Haime, that the request, submitted by Leo Smith and Marilyn Rae Smith to relax the minimum 10% frontage requirement for proposed Lot 2, as shown on the plan of subdivision of Lot 1, District Lot 161, Nanoose District, Plan VIP65475 Except That Part in Plan VIP73924, be approved, subject to the large arbutus tree being protected.

MOVED Director Haime, SECONDED Director Hamilton, that the motion be amended to remove the words: "subject to the large arbutus tree being protected".

CARRIED

The motion was called on the main motion, as amended.

The motion CARRIED.

Request for Relaxation of the Minimum 10% Frontage Requirement – Leigh Millan, BCLS on Behalf of Lois Dahl Holmgren – Cedar Road – Area A.

MOVED Director Haime, SECONDED Director Kreiberg, that the request, submitted by Leigh Millan, BCLS, on behalf of Lois Dahl Holmgren, to relax the minimum 10% frontage requirement for the Proposed Remainder of Section 7, Range 1, Cedar District as shown on the plan of subdivision of the Remainder of Section 7 with Exceptions and That Part of Section 8 Lying to the East of the Nanaimo River with Exceptions, Both of Range 1, Cedar District, be approved.

CARRIED

Request for Relaxation of the Minimum 10% Frontage Requirement – Keith & Linda Jack/CO Smythies – 2375 Hemer Road – Area A.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Kreiberg, that the request, submitted by CO Smythies, BCLS, on behalf of Keith Douglas Jack & Linda Jeanette Taylor Jack, to relax the minimum 10% perimeter frontage requirement for proposed Lot 2, as shown on the plan of subdivision of Lot 5, Section 13, Range 2, Cedar District, Plan 40406, be approved subject to the applicant registering a Section 219 covenant on proposed Lot 2 restricting further subdivision, including all forms of strata subdivisions.

CARRIED

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STANDING COMMITTEE

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that the minutes of the regular Committee of the Whole meetings held April 22, 2003 be received for information.

CARRIED

COMMUNITY SERVICES

Green’s Landing Wharf – Lease Extension – Area B.

MOVED Director Lund, SECONDED Director Haime, that the Public Works and Government Services Canada’s offer to extend the short term lease of Green’s Wharf Landing from April 1, 2003 to September 30, 2003 to the Regional District of Nanaimo be accepted.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Lund, SECONDED Director Bartram, that Public Works and Government Services Canada be encouraged to work with the residents of Gabriola and Mudge Islands and the Regional District of Nanaimo to reach a satisfactory resolution to the future use of the Green’s Landing Wharf facility.

CARRIED

RECREATION AND PARKS

Purchase of Old Errington School – Area F.

MOVED Director Biggemann, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that the report regarding the state of the old Errington School and the estimated cost of work required to fix the identified deficiencies be received for information.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Krall, that the Regional District of Nanaimo Board reconsider the January 8, 2002 Regional District of Nanaimo Board Resolution "that the Regional District complete the purchase arrangements with School District 69 for the acquisition of the old Errington School for $150,000 under payment terms outlined in the staff report".

CARRIED

MOVED Director Biggemann, SECONDED Director Hamilton, that the Regional District complete the purchase arrangements with School District 69 for the acquisition of the old Errington School for $150,000 under payment terms outlined in the staff report.

DEFEATED

Surcharge Policy for Non-Tax Contributing Users of the Ravensong Aquatic Centre.

Director Westbroek made a motion that this item be referred to the Regional Services Review Phase II. The motion failed due to lack of a seconder.

MOVED Director Demmon, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that:

The report on the Surcharge Policy for Non-Tax Contributing Users of the Ravensong Aquatic Centre be received as information.

That the Regional District of Nanaimo Board approve the two recommendations put forward by the District 69 Recreation Commission:

That the non-resident pool surcharge be removed from the Ravensong Aquatic Centre.
That the Electoral Area E Director be approached to consider Electoral Area E contributing a fair and reasonable amount to the Ravensong Aquatic Centre.
DEFEATED

TRANSIT

Southern Community Transit Services Area Amendment Bylaw No. 1230.01.

MOVED Director Krall, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that "Southern Community Transit Service Area Amendment Bylaw No. 1230.01, 2003" be introduced for first three readings and be forwarded to the Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services for approval.

CARRIED

CORPORATE SERVICES

ADMINISTRATION

Adoption of the 2003-2005 Board Strategic Plan.

MOVED Director Westbroek, SECONDED Director McNabb, that the 2003-2005 Board Strategic Directions Plan for the Regional District of Nanaimo be approved.

CARRIED

FINANCE

Operating Results to March 31, 2003.

MOVED Director Krall, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that the summary report of financial results from operations to March 31, 2003 be received for information.

CARRIED

Driftwood Water Supply Security Issuing Bylaw No. 1301.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Driftwood Water Supply Security Issuing Bylaw No. 1301, 2003" be introduced for first three readings and be forwarded to the Inspector of Municipalities for approval.

CARRIED

Morningstar Streetlighting LSA Requisition Limit Amendment Bylaw No. 869.03.

MOVED Director Westbroek, SECONDED Director Sherry, that "Morningstar Streetlighting Local Service Area Requisition Limit Amendment Bylaw No. 869.03, 2003" be introduced for first three readings and be forwarded to the Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services for approval.

CARRIED

FIRE DEPARTMENTS

Fire Protection Services Agreement for Yellowpoint Fire Service Area.

MOVED Director Kreiberg, SECONDED Director Sherry, that the Chairperson and General Manager, Corporate Services be authorized to sign a five year agreement (2003 to 2008) for fire protection services for the Yellowpoint Fire service area, with the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Kreiberg, SECONDED Director Krall, that staff undertake a review of a fire season burning bylaw in consultation with the Electoral Area Director and the service area constituents.

CARRIED

DEVELOPMENT SERVICES

BUILDING INSPECTION

Section 700 Filings.

The Chairperson listed the filings and asked that if the property owners were in the audience and wished to address the Board, to come forward when their name was called.

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Sherry, that a notice be filed against the title of the properties listed, pursuant to Section 700 of the Local Government Act and that if the infractions are not rectified within ninety (90) days, legal action will be pursued:

(a) Lot 2, Section 12, Range 5, Cedar Land District, Plan VIP57855, 2030 Pace Road, Electoral Area ‘A’, owned by T. Hawthornthwaite;

(b) Lot B, Section 15, Range 3, Mountain Land District, Plan VIS5259, 3390 Westview Acres Road, Electoral Area ‘D’, owned by G. Doumont.

CARRIED

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

LIQUID WASTE

Odour Management Plan – Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Krall, that the Board approve implementation of the Odour Management Plan for the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre.

CARRIED

Engineering Services Contract – Liquid Waste Department.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director McNabb, that staff be directed to prepare a consulting services contract with Associated Engineering (BC) Ltd. for wastewater engineering advice for a three-year term with the option of renewing for an additional two-year term.

CARRIED

SOLID WASTE

Garbage and Recyclable Materials Collection Amendment Bylaw No. 1009.06.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Krall, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Garbage and Recyclable Materials Collection Amendment Bylaw No. 1009.06, 2003" be introduced for first three readings.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Krall, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Garbage and Recyclable Materials Collection Amendment Bylaw No. 1009.06, 2003" having received three readings be adopted.

CARRIED

UTILITIES

Driftwood Water Supply Service Area Rates & Regulations Bylaw No. 1334.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director McNabb, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Driftwood Water Supply Service Area Rates and Regulations Bylaw No. 1334, 2003" be introduced for first three readings.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director McNabb, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Driftwood Water Supply Service Area Rates and Regulations Bylaw No. 1334, 2003" having received three readings be adopted.

CARRIED

Water LSA Rates & Regulations Bylaws No. 524.12, 619.08, 700.09, 726.09, 727.09, 764.12, 815.07, 886.06 and 1097.04.

Bylaw No. 524.12.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Nanoose Water Supply Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 524.12, 2003" be introduced for first three readings.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Nanoose Water Supply Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 524.12, 2003" having received three readings be adopted.

CARRIED

Bylaw No. 619.08.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that "Regional District of Nanaimo French Creek Water Supply Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 619.08, 2003" be introduced for first three readings.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that "Regional District of Nanaimo French Creek Water Supply Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 619.08, 2003" having received three readings be adopted.

CARRIED

Bylaw No. 700.09.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Surfside Properties Specified Area Water Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 700.09, 2003" be introduced for first three readings.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director McNabb, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Surfside Properties Specified Area Water Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 700.09, 2003" having received three readings be adopted.

CARRIED

Bylaw No. 726.09.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Arbutus Park Estates Water Supply Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 726.09, 2003" be introduced for first three readings.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director McNabb, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Arbutus Park Estates Water Supply Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 726.09, 2003" having received three readings be adopted.

CARRIED

Bylaw No. 727.09.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Krall, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Madrona Water Supply Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 727.09, 2003" be introduced for first three readings.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Madrona Water Supply Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 727.09, 2003" having received three readings be adopted.

CARRIED

Bylaw No. 764.12.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Fairwinds Water Supply Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 764.12, 2003" be introduced for first three readings.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director McNabb, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Fairwinds Water Supply Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 764.12, 2003" having received three readings be adopted.

CARRIED

Bylaw No. 815.07.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that "Regional District of Nanaimo West Bay Estates Water Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 815.07, 2003" be introduced for first three readings.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that "Regional District of Nanaimo West Bay Estates Water Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 815.07, 2003" having received three readings be adopted.

CARRIED

Bylaw No. 886.06.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director McNabb, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Wall Beach Water Supply Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 886.06, 2003" be introduced for first three readings.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Wall Beach Water Supply Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 886.06, 2003" having received three readings be adopted.

CARRIED

Bylaw No. 1097.04.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Kreiberg, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Decourcey Water Supply Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 1097.04, 2003" be introduced for first three readings.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Kreiberg, that "Regional District of Nanaimo Decourcey Water Supply Local Service Area Regulations and Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 1097.04, 2003" having received three readings be adopted.

CARRIED

French Creek Water Local Service Area – Water Supply & Quality Issues.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Haime, that the report on the French Creek Water Local Service Area water supply and quality issues be received for information.

CARRIED

French Creek Water Local Service Area – Resident Committee Options.

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director McNabb, that the Board advise the French Creek Residents’ Association that the RDN does not support the creation of a "water board" (or equivalent committee or commission) for the French Creek Water Local Service Area with the authority to create and manage the budget, and determine the efficiency and proficiency of RDN staff assigned to the operation of the Chartwell/Sandpiper water system.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Hamilton, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that the Board support the formation of a Board-appointed FCWLSA advisory committee comprised of representatives from the Chartwell and Sandpiper subdivisions and recognize this committee as the liaison between RDN and the FCWLSA residents, and that the membership of the Advisory Committee include representation from the French Creek Residents Association and the Chartwell Residents Association, and that these Associations be invited to submit names for consideration by the Board.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Cantelon, that the Board direct staff to advertise for membership on the committee for Board review and selection and that staff prepare a terms of reference for the committee’s mandate and responsibilities.

CARRIED

COMMISSION, ADVISORY AND SELECT COMMITTEES

District 69 Recreation Commission.

MOVED Director Bartram, SECONDED Director Biggemann, that the minutes of the District 69 Recreation Commission meetings held April 10 and May 8, 2003, be received for information.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Bartram, SECONDED Director Demmon, that the shortlist of names recommended by the Naming Committee and approved by the Commission (the Brant Centre, Arrowsmith Centre, Oceanside Centre, Chinook Centre and Orca Centre) be presented to the Board with the recommended name for the new Multiplex Arena being Oceanside Place.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Bartram, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that the recommendations from the District 69 Recreation Commission Grants Committee be approved as follows:

That the Board endorses the following Youth Grants:
Ballenas Cheer & Stunt Squad – competition fees and travel $ 2,615
Ravensong Breakers Aquatic Club – fundraising costs/advertising 2,700
Kidfest – activity for older youth 1,500
Mid-Island Habitat Enhancement Society – Jr. Stream Keepers 966
Oceanside Community Arts Council – youth theatre 800
Oceanside Track and Field Club – curbing track 3,560
Oceanside Track and Field – cinder for track 3,100
Royal Baseball Club – Blast Ball program 700

That the Board endorses the following Community Grants:
Arrowsmith Search and Rescue – Hug a Tree program $ 850
Building Learning Together – Teaching from the Heart 960
Building Learning Together – Traveling Tales 1,520
Errington War Memorial Hall Association – kitchen upgrade 2,500
Errington War Memorial Hall Association – main hall washroom 3,000
Lighthouse Floor Curlers – program cost shortfall 230
Oceanside Floor Curlers – equipment 1,300
Island Ryders Wakeboard Club – boat insurance, training, equip 2,600
Lighthouse Recreation – cost of rentals and program supplies 1,250
Qualicum Beach Family Day – event costs 1,000
Oceanside Lyric Ensemble (OLE) – set construction, hall rental, props 2,500

CARRIED

Transit Business Plan Update Select Committee.

MOVED Director Krall, SECONDED Director Holdom, that the minutes of the Transit Business Plan Update Select Committee meetings held April 10 and 15, 2003, be received for information.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Krall, SECONDED Director Holdom, that the report on the Parksville/Qualicum Beach Community Bus Proposal be received for information and be forwarded to the Plan Update 2003-2005 public consultation process.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Krall, SECONDED Director Holdom, that the proposed District 68 Transit service adjustments for June 29, 2003 and seasonal service reductions be approved and forwarded to the public consultation process for the Transit Business Plan Update.

CARRIED

MOVED Director Krall, SECONDED Director Holdom, that the 2003/2004 Annual Operating Agreement (AOA) with BC Transit (BCT) be approved and that BCT allow for the full expenditure of their cost sharing commitment as outlined in the AOA.

CARRIED

SCHEDULED STANDING, ADVISORY STANDING AND SELECT COMMITTEE REPORTS

Gabriola Island Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee.

MOVED Director Lund, SECONDED Director Hamilton, that Ms. Jacqueline Cecil Sears be appointed to the Gabriola Island Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee for a term ending December 31, 2004.

CARRIED

Lantzville Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee.

MOVED Director Haime, SECONDED Director Westbroek, that Mr. Roy L. Taylor be appointed to the Lantzville Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee.

CARRIED

IN CAMERA

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Krall, that pursuant to Section 242.2(h) of the Local Government Act the Board proceed to an In Camera meeting to consider items pertaining to litigation affecting the Regional District.

CARRIED

ADJOURNMENT

MOVED Director Sherry, SECONDED Director Krall, that this meeting be adjourned to allow for an In Camera meeting.

CARRIED

TIME: 9:20 PM

CHAIRPERSON GENERAL MANAGER, CORPORATE SERVICES

November 05, 2010

Liar, Liar The Government of Canada’s Pants Are On Fire















No Private Health Care In Canada What A Load of Bull-X#&*!

BY Melvin J. Howard

In my NAFTA dispute with Canada one of the things I wanted to bring out to the world is the hypocrisy of Canada's Universal Health Care System. On the one hand it claims for the social good of its citizens its health care system is free and you will not be charged for medical care. On the other hand if you want the really speedy and better service health care system. We take all major credit cards, cash, personal cheques, money orders, bank drafts, and company cheques, wire transfers, the barter system (I’ll do your scan if you build my sun Deck) etc. Meanwhile enter Centurion Health Corporation an American firm that wants to build a 100+ Million Dollar plus health care facility providing the same services. Guess what in effect they said YANKEE GO HOME American Health Care Companies Need Not Apply. So much for free trade and all the NAFTA promises I demand redress my resolve on this issue remains strong or should America in kind shut the door on Canadian Health Care Companies that have opened up shop in the great U.S of A. To make my point just read the following head lines in Canada and this is after my tribunal disbanded it really insults my intelligence that the Government of Canada can continue to defend their position with a straight face.

Tom Blackwell, National Post
Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010

Major Canadian hospitals are hosting for-profit services that sell speedy MRIs and CT scans to fee-paying patients, part of a surprising, parallel private health system that appears to stretch countrywide.

The businesses — at Mount Sinai and St. Michael’s hospitals in Toronto and many others like them — say they are not violating laws that bar Canadians from buying medically necessary treatment, but taking advantage of a little-known quirk in medicare rules that allows “third parties” to seek care outside the public system.

The concept has long applied to workers’ compensation clients, RCMP officers, military personnel and even prison inmates - all of whom are effectively excluded from provincial health plans - but recent interviews reveal that the third-party exemption now stretches much further.

Private auto and health insurers, law firms, sports clubs and individual employers and corporations are also being allowed to purchase expedited care for patients who normally would be prohibited from doing so.

An Alberta-based insurance company is selling policies to employers and individuals in the West, Ontario and Atlantic Canada that will provide patients expedited MRIs and CT scans and even speedy visits to a range of specialists if they face lengthy wait times in the public system.

Acure Health’s service is possible because the bill is paid for by an insurer - a third party - but Jim Viccars, Acure’s president, said his company is not stealing from the public system, only tapping into unused capacity.

“The reality is that the system right now is faltering under incredible burdens of demand, versus the ability to meet that with provincial revenue,” he said. “This kind of program can alleviate a lot of that ... No one needs to wait in pain.”

One Toronto man says he turned over $850 recently to get the MRI scan his doctor had recommended within two days, versus waits of up to two months for a taxpayer-funded scan on the same machine. Staff at the Mount Sinai third-party service told Greg Martin he just had to make sure it was paid for by a corporation, which happened to be his own computer-consulting business.

“The clinic questioned me ... to make sure I had pre-printed company cheques and to make sure it was a legitimate company,” said Mr. Martin, who would actually like to see more private medicine. “We obviously need to support the public system, but if people can afford to pay for it, then let them.”

Some of the third-party diagnostic imaging services are offered by private companies that use publicly owned equipment within hospitals part-time, some by the hospitals themselves and at least one in Ontario is a privately owned MRI suite within a public hospital, St. Michael’s.

At Mississauga’s Trillium Health Centre, a representative for the hospital’s service told an anonymous caller that a patient can get an MRI or CT scan in three days or faster, and have it paid for by a corporation.

“Even if it’s your own company and your own money in a sense, if it’s the company that’s making the decision for your wife, that’s the way we need to do it, so it looks like it’s a legitimate sort of expense for the company,” said the employee.

It all adds another twist to the continuing debate about Canada’s single-tier system and the seemingly expanded role being played by private medicine. The phenomenon is particularly striking in Ontario, where the Liberal government actually converted several private imaging clinics to non-profit facilities in 2004, saying “MRI services will be driven by community need, not by profit.”

David Jensen, a spokesman for the Ontario Health Ministry, said Thursday the province funds hospitals and clinics to provide a certain number of hours of medicare scanning service; outside those hours, they are free to use the machines to provide “uninsured” services, those that do not fall under the provincial health plan.

It would seem, though, that third-party customers are often funding care that would normally be covered by medicare. And some critics argue that is a potential threat to the integrity of universal health care.

“It’s relentless: medical entrepreneurs trying to exploit the system for money.... it easily escalates out of control, so you lose single-payer, universal access,” said Michael McBane, spokesman for the union-backed Canadian Healthcare Coalition. “It’s the thin edge of the wedge ... If they don’t get beaten back, they will grow like a cancer.”

One diagnostic-imaging entrepreneur catering to third parties, however, said the exemption makes perfect sense, allowing employers to get sick or injured staff back in the saddle sooner

“I don’t think it’s a loophole; this is well considered,” said Bruce Bronfman of Ontario MRI Centres, which operates the services at Mount Sinai and at Toronto’s Humber River Regional Hospital. “It’s important for the Ontario economy.”

For Trillium, the third-party service uses machines when they would otherwise be idle, while providing crucial funding for public care, more work for radiologists, and added job security for technologists, said Larry Roberts, a spokesman for the Ontario hospital.

Private companies and others catering to third parties say the bulk of their business comes from workers compensation, car-accident victims funded by insurers and federal police and military.

At Halifax’s Healthview Medical Imaging, which owns its own private MRI clinic, about 20% of patients have their scan paid for by others, such as workplace health plans, or actually pay out of their own pockets.

For $800, patients get a scan within three to five business days, compared to waits of up to six months in Nova Scotia’s public system, said Dr. Derrick McPhee, a radiologist who works full-time on the public side and after hours for Healthview.

Dr. McPhee argues the company actually helps medicare by taking thousands of patients out of it annually.

National Post editorial board, National Post
Monday, Oct. 11, 2010

Monday marked the start of “Family Doctor Week” in Canada. It provides an occasion to celebrate the contributions and hard work of Canada’s general practitioners, but also to take stock of the serious challenges facing these doctors and their patients across the country.

According to a report released by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), in Dec. 2009, 4.1 million Canadians — 14% of the population — did not have a family physician. A series of focus groups conducted for the CMA by Ipsos-Reid in 2007 further revealed that some people had been unsuccessfully searching for a family physician for as long as several years.

And those Canadians with family doctors enjoy less timely access to them than citizens of other industrialized nations. According to a Commonwealth Fund survey conducted in 2007, and cited by the CMA, Canada had the lowest rate of same-day physician appointments: Only 22% of respondents, versus 30% in the United States and 41% or better in the other five countries surveyed, reported being able to see their doctor within the day. Canada also had the highest rate of respondents who waited six or more days to see their doctor, at 30%, as opposed to 20% for Germany and the United States, and lower for the other four nations surveyed.

What causes our shortage of family doctors? The perception that family medicine is not as “prestigious” as highly specialized disciplines is one problem, as is the difficulty in attracting family physicians to remote or outlying communities. But according to a 2005 report from the CFPC, the main reason is money: “[A] lack of remuneration is the leading cause of a decline in medical students choosing to take up family practice. It is also the prevailing reason why family doctors are forced to close their practices.” A 2008 report by the same organization found that family doctors earn an average of 33% less than physicians in other specialties.

Yet when searching for a solution to the shortage, discussion more often centres on increasing the supply of doctors, instead of their remuneration. Some observers claim Canada should attract and accredit more foreign doctors. But two recent studies found that between 2001 and 2008, only half of international medical graduates (IMG) passed their accreditation in Canada, versus over 93% of Canadians.

Other critics would like to increase the number of medical students in Canada. But if these students continue to prefer specialization over general medicine, this will not improve the situation.

If the paycheque is the problem, the answer is not to increase the supply of family physicians, but to increase the reward they receive. In a state-run, monopoly-payer system, this would mean having government pay higher fees for service. But public health budgets are stretched to the limit — and they already fail to deliver enough bang for the taxpayer’s buck.

According to Nadeem Esmail, former director of health policy at the Fraser Institute, Canadians currently underwrite the developed world’s second most expensive universal public health system. In an article published in 2009, he notes, “Only Iceland spent more on universal access health insurance system than Canada as a share of GDP, while Switzerland spent as much as Canada… Twenty-five developed nations who maintain universal health insurance programs spent less than we did; as much as 38% less as a percentage of GDP in the case of Japan.”

Instead of fighting market forces, through a rationed, monopoly-payer system, Canada should allow family doctors to practise both public and private medicine. This would allow them to diversify the sources of their revenues, and exert better control over their working hours and the quality of care they deliver.

A trend to private family medicine is happening already in parts of the country. Leading the charge is Quebec, where between 2007 and 2009, the number of private family doctors nearly doubled, from 61 to 113. An estimated 20-25 physicians leave the public system each year. According to the Quebec Family Doctors Federation, as of 2009, Quebec had a shortage of 800 general practitioners (there were 8,000 in practice that year). Doctors cite the desire for higher pay and lower stress as their chief motivations for going private.

Some provinces, such as Ontario, expressly forbid physicians from setting up general practices which bill patients instead of the medicare system. The fear is that “going private” will further diminish the number of doctors available to treat patients “for free.” But the reality is that such edicts only encourage physicians to vote with their feet, and move to jurisdictions which allow them choice in how they earn their living, and their patients choice in how to pay for medical services.

The answer is not more public money, but a more efficient allocation of resources from both the public and private sector that will increase compensation for family doctors, allow them to achieve greater work-life balance and thereby make the practise of family medicine more attractive. Now that would be something for “Family Doctor Week” to celebrate.


November 04, 2010

NAFTA FREE TRADE DOES NOT MEAN FAIR TRADE














Very simple questions:

  1. Does Canada have private health care facilities? YES
  2. Are there Canadian Health Care Facilities Operating in the U.S. ? YES
  3. Are there Any U.S. Health Care Facilities Operating in Canada? NO
  4. Does Canada Discriminate Against U.S. Health Care Facility Operators? YES
  5. Is Canada A Party To NAFTA? YES
So Whats the Problem All Of Above!