The unhealthy alliance
By Sydney White
Out of the ashes of betrayal, the new Conservative Party heaves itself forward, a somewhat clumsy bird, drab except for one bright blue Stronach tailfeather, still, not a Phoenix. Newly birthed, but under the bar sinister of the Alliance cuckoo, it flaps continuously to assert its legitimacy, not resembling the original in any way.

Many indigenous Conservatives have, in fact, fled the nest without waiting to be kicked to the ground. To date, five MPs have decided not to continue with the "new" Conservative Party.

Mike Harris, Peter McKay and Bernard Lord have backed out as candidates, leaving the field to Tony Clement, Stephen Harper and Belinda Stronach. When will these three meet again? (". . .in thunder, lightning, or in rain?") The "really big she-e-ow will be centrestage March 21.

One might expect the leadership convention to be held on the Ides of March, considering the new party’s short but nasty history. But let us give them the benefit of the doubt, grave though it
may be.

After all, the Alliance did have difficulties with names, starting with the "Canadian Reform Alliance Party". Only after it appeared in print did they realise that its acronym was "CRAP". While the public was still in stitches, they shortened the name to "Alliance". This got them off the comedy channel, but brought them no closer to becoming the household word they most desired -- that word being "Conservative". Such a sound and established name, and with such a credible history. What better way to jack up a falling stock, indeed sometimes a laughing stock.

The opportunity came when David Orchard made the deal with Peter McKay and it looked like the blue Tories would take a back seat to David the Kingmaker. The coup on "Peter the Indecisive" was the answer and, despite Orchard’s attempted lawsuit, was a fait accompli.

If Orchard wouldn’t leave the party, then the party would leave Orchard. All that was left was to dot the i’s on an option that had been considered much earlier.

And now the race was on.

Let’s look at Candidate Harper first; champing at the bit in the starting gate. He made it known in the past that he was not in favour of uniting with the Conservatives. However, after returning from the Bilderberg Conference in Versailles last May (where he sat with Richard Perle, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and Kissinger) he made a complete about face. As political pundits will tell you, most of the Bilderberg members are, like the Rockfellers, from the banking industry, the insurance industry and the health management industry. Their seal of approval seemed to give Mike Harris, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair some clout in the world of corporate politics; Harper may also be slated for big things.

Tony Clement, previously Ontario’s Minister of Health who lost his seat in the last provincial election, said he was confident that many Tories would back him. He had never said or done anything to upset the status quo, but the media pronounced him the owner of "the perfect face for radio" and, along with his record of "no hits, no runs, no errors", he has not added to campaign excitement. Those who didn’t feel safe with the other two candidates probably opted for Tony.

Belinda Stronach was the CEO of her father’s auto parts empire, making $9 million a year for ostensibly running the firm in 22 countries. But Daddy is still Chairman of the Board — so we don’t really know just how much credit should be given to Belinda. She is said to have bankrolled Harris and also to have bolstered Peter McKay’s campaign with $100,000. She also arranged to rent out Magna Warehouse space for [former Ontario premier] Ernie Eves’ Big Budget Show -- at a cost to Ontario taxpayers of $206,000. We have not been reimbursed; nor do we know how or why Ernie spent several billion without permission one day before the budget.

I had planned to ask him, but no one has heard from him. He seems to have reached the peak of obscurity.

Ernie and Mike’s campaign funder, Magna International, however, is in the spotlight, along with its figurehead, Belinda. With George Bush’s propaganda machine, Hill and Knowlton, handling her, she was bound to eclipse Paris Hilton in no time.

Unfortunately, the presstitutes have not been quite so generous with the information on her corporation’s recent history. I was fortunate enough to be there on a Magna landmark occasion that has never been disclosed on the bought media, nor will it be disclosed any time soon.

On February 10 and 11, 1997, there was a luxurious two-day seminar at the Hotel Inter-Continental in Toronto. It was closed to the press. The invitations were screened and were available only to the representatives of private health providers and pharmaceutical corporations at a fee of $1,400 per person.

When I was refused entry as a reporter, I managed to obtain the complete agenda for the two days. (I commend Ernst & Young on the efficiency and openness of at least one member of their office staff.)

The seminar was presented by The Canadian Institute and chaired by Ernst & Young’s Healthcare Consulting. The two-page agenda was entitled "Public-Private Partnerships in Healthcare". When you read some of these workshop titles, you will know why the press was not allowed.

"How private sector arrangements can build effectively on our Medicare system" was presented by Ernst & Young.

"What are the barriers to integrated and managed healthcare in Canada?" with detailed instructions of how to surmount them was presented by Hoffman-LaRoche.

"Disease state management as an access strategy for pharmaceutical companies", disclosed by Searle of Monsanto, Canada Inc. [emphasis added].

"Why the Government supports private sector involvement in advancing the new models for healthcare delivery" and "How managed health care can improve the quality of care", both presented by our own Deputy Minister of Institutional Health for Ontario.

"How to structure a public-private deal", detailed by Ernst & Young’s corporate finance guru.

"The CMA’s perspective on emerging private sector involvement in healthcare", benefits explained by The Canadian Medical Association.

"Who takes the risks when structuring a private arrangement with a hospital?" posed by the MDS Health Group Limited (many readers will have the answer to that one).

"Employers as partners in healthcare delivery," presented by the marketing manager of Manulife Financial Group.

After two days of detailed instructions and procedures that would allow private health care and drug monopolies to infiltrate and piggy-back on our health care system, the piece de resistance was served up by Magna International.

Dr. Arif Bhimji, Vice-President of Magna’s Health Care Development, set out its "Comprehensive Health Organization Initiative" along with its "New Opportunities for Healthcare Providers". He defined how Magna’s "Comprehensive Health Organization" (CHO) differed from other models. He defined "The role of private organizations in a publicly funded health care system." He explained to them "why Magna is investigating a shared risk/benefit model of health care." He showed the private corporate guests "how the Comprehensive Health Organization purchases services from healthcare "providers." And he described "the hospital as a vendor/supplier of services for the Comprehensive Health Organization."

In short, HMOs in Canada will be called "CHOs".

It is quite obvious in these 1997 plans, that Magna International and the "new" Conservative Party are of one mind when it comes to our health care system. It was of little moment which of the candidates won the leadership -- whether it was Harper with his marching orders from the Rockefeller Health Monopoly, or Belinda‘s conspicuous silence on health care. As for Clement, he could be depended upon not to rock the party’s boat, even if health care is the target of a corporate torpedo.

The Ontario Health Coalition accuses McGuinty of continuing the public/private partnership hospitals. McGuinty is merely the harbinger of what is to come, according to the confidential 1997 corporate agenda for healthcare. He got a majority because a lot of NDP voters were so terrified of the blue Tories that they deserted their posts; and the NDP, with 200,000 more votes than last time, lost their seat.

This could only happen in our backward first-past-the-post electoral system. Let us demand from McGuinty the referendum on proportional representation that he promised.

We’re sick of the best (s)elections that money can buy, and we certainly won’t stand for the best health care that
money can buy.

Under the euphemism of its planned "Comprehensive Health Organization", is Magna International going to inflict the first HMO on Canada?

Belinda‘s press conference showed her, indeed, to be a novice who claimed "I know what I know and I know what I don’t know". Apparently she does know what Harris knew: to cut taxes, equip the army and "modernize" the education system.

When asked about the common currency with the U.S. she replied, "Let’s put it on the table." She emphasized several times, the need for a "bigger economic pie" for which she had "a road map" to "give Canadians the tools they need to compete in the fierce global environment" (which no doubt will become even fiercer should her party get in).

Platitudes and euphemisms ran riot until one member of the press asked her why she rented the Magna Warehouse to Ernie Eves for his budget presentation. Stopped like the proverbial deer in the headlights, she replied: "We responded to a request," repeating the same litany when she was asked again.

Hill and Knowlton had better get on the job with some more workshops in "Slick Evasion".

When asked if she has enough experience at 37 to be prime minister, Belinda shot back proudly, "I ran a corporation. I had to meet a payroll," capping her qualifications by adding, "I have met many great world leaders, such as Mike Harris and Brian Mulroney."

I think that says it all.

We now live in the age that Thomas Jefferson dreaded and of which he had warned the newly independent Americans. Owners of large corporations are allowed to buy whichever parties they find convenient and (s)elect leaders to rule under the guise of government. They are merely following a pattern that has become global since the Rothschild takeover of the monetary system.

The new red shield will be Corporations Rampant on a Field of Debt Slaves.

Mussolini himself admitted that Jefferson was right and pronounced: "Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism because that is what it is."

Asad Wali, the "Conservative" strategist, says that "The new Conservative Party will be an exceptionally interesting party." How right you are Asad! And we, the new "consumers" of health care, will do our best to make these times even more interesting than your party.

Let us make sure that this unhealthy alliance calling itself the "new Conservatives" does not get the slightest opportunity to inflict upon us the scourge that decimates the people of Bushland -- the "Health Management Organization".

To all the "new" Conservatives out there — I have your hidden agenda on paper in front of me; it will soon be behind me.

Sydney White is a member of the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform.