Editorials - Aug. 19, 2022
Whose side are you on?
A decade ago, an FBI raid on a former president’s home would have sent politicians scurrying like rats from a ship to disassociate themselves from the scandal so it wouldn’t stick to them at the next election. Fast forward in Bizarro world to 2022 and for the past week we have seen the Republican Party not only run to Donald Trump’s side, but expand on his claims that the search for classified documents illegally removed from the White House was nothing more than a “political hit job”.
Despite legal experts assuring the public that the Department of Justice would need a very high degree of probable cause to even get a search warrant in an operation that would result in an extreme amount of public scrutiny and political ramifications, Trump and his supporters are asserting that the searches and seizures are all part of an intricate plot to prevent him from running again to be President of the United States.
By accusing the FBI and the Department of Justice of illegal searches, conspiracies and plots deserving of a spy novel, the Republican Party is eroding the public’s trust in institutions that were previously the pride of the nation. Once again, Trump is proving that his style of off-the-cuff politics and “pity me” rhetoric is divisive beyond politics. – DS
Perversion of belief
While perhaps not as widely practised as it was in years gone by, religion and churches remain one of the pillars of many communities, including those served by The Citizen. Whether it’s a belief system, looking to a higher power or resetting yourself every week, religion can be a very good thing for a lot of people. However, when a belief in a higher power or a set of rules for one sect that contradicts the rules for another sect results in violence, it’s easy to see that the core fundamentals of religion have been perverted in one way or another.
Holy wars, of course, are nothing new. They have been waged since the dawn of time, but to kill or maim in the name of a higher power in this day and age, it’s clear you need something more than an hour of church every week to reset you and re-establish balance in your life.
Last week, at a speaking engagement, author Salman Rushdie was stabbed multiple times by a New Jersey man. The man has since been charged with attempted murder and a motive is said to be unclear, but many have pointed to the 1989 fatwa issued by Iran, which called for Muslims to rise up and kill Rushdie as a likely factor in the incident.
Rushdie appears to be on the road to recovery and the fatwa has been in existence for over 30 years, so it’s not new, but it’s shone a light on religious extremism that persists and manifests in dangerous ways. (Hadi Matar, the man charged with hurting Rushdie, is just 24, so he was born years after The Satanic Verses, Rushdie’s book that started the controversy, was even released.) And, while successive Iranian governments have backed away from the fatwa, those in charge today say that Rushdie and his supporters are squarely to blame.
Religion can be the cornerstone of one’s life if practiced in a healthy way, but no one should lose their life over someone else’s beliefs. – SL
A slippery slope
Despite plenty of opposition from health care professionals and other politicians, Ontario’s Minister of Health Sylvia Jones says, when talking about potential privatization of healthcare, that Ontarians shouldn’t be afraid. She said that “innovation” will lead to better health services and that people will still have access to health care through their Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), but refused to rule out greater privatization when asked about it, saying “all options are on the table.”
Premier Doug Ford has also weighed in on it, promising that surgeries at private clinics will be “100 per cent covered” and that Ontario would “never get away from that.” Instead of mentioning innovation, Ford said the province is going to get “creative” because the province can’t expect different results from attempting the same thing.
Innovation, creativity or privatization - however the province wants to present it has a bad reputation among health care professionals. They point to dentistry, which requires people to either pay out of pocket or pay a premium to insurance companies to access, as a system that isn’t for the public good. The focus, according to emergency room doctors like Dr. Lisa Salamon from Toronto, should be on retaining and supporting health care workers, not looking at privatization as a way to cut costs and create efficiencies.
NDP Healthcare Critic France Gélinas says that, under private options, rich people will get care faster but the majority of residents will have to wait because staff will leave the public sector for the private one.
However the government wants to present changes to it, health care, for Canadians, is an expected right and one we should all pay into happily. It makes sure we have the services we need when we need them. If we’re not able to access them, however, then the change shouldn’t be privatization, but more support for the system we have. After all, once you go private, it’s going to be very difficult to get back. – JDS