Thursday, February 04, 2010

Noblesse oblige

From Sun columnist Alan Parker, the real scandal of Danny Williams' cross border queue jumping is that ultimately he's the one in charge of the queue.
Well, Danny Boy, you’re the freakin’ King of Newfoundland. You’ve stared down Ottawa and done all sorts of wondrous things.

Newfoundland is now — or soon will be — a “have” province, despite the fishery collapse.

And medicine/health care is a provincial responsibility in Canada. So you, as premier, are the ultimate health authority on the Rock, responsible for the medical well-being of half a million people.

And there is some medical procedure that your fiefdom is not prepared to deal with until it affects you?

I’m not saying the procedure has to be performed in St. John’s. I’m just saying that — unless you have a one-in-a-million condition — there has to be a protocol in place for dealing with whatever medical problem you have (and are not revealing).

Why is the protocol that’s good enough for every other citizen of Newfoundland and Labrador not good enough for you?

That’s what really bugs me about you, Danny Williams.

If you just want to be part of the elite — floating above the hoi polloi — that’s fine. But it’s really bad timing to choose to do so when you, as premier, are saying (figuratively speaking): “I crapped out. I did a really bad job of providing you, the people I swore to look out for, with the kind of medical care I wanted for myself. Sorry. Adios.”

Here’s the bottom line — Danny Williams, as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, is responsible for health care in his province.

If that care is not possible within province, he is responsible for providing that care to the citizens of his province elsewhere. But with accountability.

I see no accountability from Danny Williams in his own situation. He’s just saying, in effect: “I’m looking after myself as a private citizen. Good luck to any other Newfoundlander with the same condition I’ve got — you’re on your own.”

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