Achieving balance on one side of the scale

Provincial New Democrat health critic Adrian Dix is weighing in on the government's decision to postpone a speech by University of Victoria drug policy researcher Alan Cassels to civil servants. In an interview with Public Eye, Mr. Dix asked "Is it the case that every time a ministry of health official meets with the pharmaceutical industry or its representatives that they meet with Mr. Cassels" or another industry critic. "Or is it the case that they almost only and exclusively meet with the pharmaceutical industry?" he added, leaving little doubt as to which way he'd answer the question. Mr. Dix concluded by saying he found it surprising that "the one time they hear someone critical of the industry and supportive of what is after-all is the B.C. government's own program PharmaCare, they say they need balance."

6 Comments

If the government never hears from anyone who might disagree with their friends, how will they ever learn anything. Dix is raising a few hackles and good for him. Abbott is blustering about renting out our MRI stuff so somebody can make a quick buck. Pills are a big business and getting bigger as folks wait for consultations with MD's . We appear to be short of doctors yet many have fewer office hours. Diagnostic testing seem to take for ever for someone in pain.

Here take these new pills and you will feel just great. Time to get an operation, heck the list is pretty long, take these new pills till we get a date soemtimes next year. My favourite is the recorded messages at so many doctors offices lately. Emergency call 911, if just a little emergency go to a wlak in clinic. so a guy who never saw you before is stuck trying to figure what pill you should have right now.

Tough to know what Dix is complaining about. BC has been the hardest on big pharma of any government in Canada by significant orders of magnitude.

In the case of Pharmacare, the current government has out "new democrated" the NDP on a sustained basis since 2001.

It seems to me that this is not about being on one side of the issue or the other, the issue is what is appropriate behaviour for an impartial public servant during the work day. Is it appropriate to have a public servant host what amounts to a book selling event while she is being paid by the taxpayers of BC?

Nice to see that the Deputy Minister arrvived at the correct and professional decision.

"In the case of Pharmacare, the current government has out "new democrated" the NDP on a sustained basis since 2001.

It seems to me that this is not about being on one side of the issue or the other, the issue is what is appropriate behaviour for an impartial public servant during the work day. Is it appropriate to have a public servant host what amounts to a book selling event while she is being paid by the taxpayers of BC?"

Posted by realitycheck on September 14, 2006

I think reality check needs a check himself. As far as I can tell, Alan Cassels is a UVic employee, not a BC Govt worker. So, he is not a public servant, but a university staff person.

Also, what does realitycheck mean when he says that the BC Liberals have outdone the NDP in the area of drug policy?

With the deepest respect Budd, please check your facts. The whole event was being organized and moderated by Ms S. Solven the Executive Director of BC Pharmacare, who I think you will agree is very much a public servant and one who given her role should remain publicly above the fray when it comes to taking sides on these issues. If you look back on this website I believe you will easily find a copy of the origional invite.

Regarding your other question Budd, take a look at the referenced based pricing regime in BC. Started under the NDP in the 1990s and expanded by the BC Liberals in the 2000s. Try and name another Harcourt/Glen Clark policy that is still in play under this government.

Reality cluck is more like it. When has Gordo and Company brought anyone into the fold on any issue to express a view that might not balance with what he wants to push?

Perhaps if he had we wouldn't be clasping our wallets now that the Auditor General has only begun to tally up some of the "open and transparent" financial figures around the 2010 Games?
And why is it that the executive director of BC Phamacare, who ought to enjoy a least a finger's length distance from the manipulative machinations of politicians and their hired political slugs, can't make an independent decision.

BTW, I do beleive part of her mandate is to find ways to reduce the costs of meds etc. If she feels an author with some expertice might enlighten other bureaurcrats, then where's the fire?

I'd suggest it was set by some of those very slugs I noted above.

And speaking of sluggers, when are we ever going to learn the truth about the BC Rail giveaway and those hired hands who apparently thought it best to share all the info with at least some of the potential bidders?

It would be enlightening if a few of the Liberal politicians would come clean and bring the public into the know on that stinky little festering mess. You know, in the name of balance.

"...The whole event was being organized and moderated by Ms S. Solven the Executive Director of BC Pharmacare, who I think you will agree is very much a public servant and one who given her role should remain publicly above the fray when it comes to taking sides on these issues. If you look back on this website I believe you will easily find a copy of the origional invite."

Posted by check again on September 14, 2006 05:34 PM

I didn't see the earlier item on Ms Solven. Still, if she is organizing meetings where there is to be an exchange of information and views relevant to public policy she can hardly be expected to invited only fully nuetered commentators. Is the complaint that she did not also invite a Fraser Inst spokesperson as well?

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