I have a new post up at Global Comment
Since Tommy Douglas fought valiantly for the right of universal health care, Canadians have been blessed to know that in times of illness our medical needs would be covered by the state. Universal health care has become one of our most cherished social benefits. Though the tax burden is high and there are faults within the system regarding wait times for procedures, no Canadian is turned away from a doctor or a hospital in a time of need – unless, of course, they happen to be transgender.
After repeated slash-and-burn budgets by former premier Ralph Klein, in which he attacked the poor under the guise of balancing the budget and the decline of the oil sands revenue, the province of Alberta is once again in a position where it must run a deficit budget. Alberta is Canada’s most conservative province and so it comes as no surprise that the government has decided that the delisting of sex reassignment surgery is a justifiable sacrifice in an effort to save seven hundred thousand in a twelve point nine billion dollar healthcare budget. With a total deficit of four point seven billion what does cutting seven hundred thousand really accomplish?