Pat Atkinson, Deputy Premier in the Saskatchewan NDP Government, has divulged the latest stalling strategy in the implementation of health care reform in our province - an all-party committee to examine the Fyke Commission Report.




Atkinson's pretence of victimisation at the hands of the Saskatchewan Party, in it's refusal to take part in such an examination - with public input - would be credible perhaps, only if we didn't recognise her as one of the chief strategists in the Calvert Government. For Goodness' sake, she was constantly at Mr. Calvert's side as the party faithful were convinced to choose him as their leader.



in the

Users and potential users - that's pretty well all of us - of Saskatchewan's health care system are once again left twisting in the wind as this latest instalment of a government stalling strategy unfolds.




First the background. A manipulative and cautious - to the point of paranoia - Roy Romanow, sets up the Fyke Commission. 'Our Boy', Roy, does this, knowing full well his own personal plans for his own personal future. Which, simply put, is to leap off the leaky old NDP Government boat. (He saw Mitchell, Torchewsky and Lingenfelter do it without injury so he's pretty sure it is safe.) But, ever careful, Our Boy, assures himself of a soft landing on the bosom of the federal Liberals; that's the plum appointment to examine the health care system for all of Canada!




Roy Romanow likes to describe himself as a visionary. He is/was not. Yes, he always had a clear, selfish, vision for himself; Power, but for the rest of us? - pretty well just a matter of learning to live with the compromises he made to his party's philosophy. But, to be fair, Roy, was loyal - at least to the insiders of his power structure. Thus the Fyke Commission.



put off

To explain: Romanow sets up Fyke; all questions regarding health care are put off in the final months of his premiership by deferring to Fyke. Calvert, can still feel the heat from Roy's behind, in the premier's chair when the preliminary Fyke is revealed. No use asking health related questions now! Our Boy gets the Cretien appointment, it has a life of two years just to produce a report. No use implementing Fyke now - who knows how the federal report will impact on it! Thus, no serious, politically dangerous, immediate, health care decisions, need be made!




But, just in case some people don't buy into that stalling plan, chief strategist Atkinson, and company - no longer capable of creative policy and program development - battered and badgered by rural Saskatchewan at every turn - (Surprise! The place where any health reform will impact most.) decide a good deal more study of Fyke is in order. Thus the all party committee.



Get on
with it

Any day of any week, I find it impossible to give the warmed over Tories - the Saskatchewan Party - any credit. But there are exceptions to every rule. So, the Saskatchewan Party is right in telling the government they've got some Fyke recommendations that will work. When they say, 'Get on with it!', I agree!




What about it Pat? You guys just too tired and worn out?

I'm Edwin Wallace