Its now discriminatory to apply equal health rules to all races?

OK lets start with the basics on this one.

Liver transplantation currently is the only definitive treatment for severe (end stage) liver failure.

There is always a shortage of livers and medical resources unfortunately thus there are requisites involved when it is determined if a patient qualifies for a liver transplant. The bottom line is that when using a resource as precious as a donated organ, we want to be assured that it is put to the best use possible. If a patient looks unlikely to survive long after a procedure due to health factors, they will be dropped on the list so that more viable recipients may get the procedure. Tough but essential decisions when finite resources are involved.

Many liver transplant procedures are done in Canada to treat liver failure due to chronic alcohol abuse.

One of the most surefire ways to negate the benefits of a liver transplant is to resume alcohol consumption after the transplant. The liver will be wasted and the patient will die. Because of this risk, there are sobriety requirements for patients before they can get a new liver. In Ontario it is six months.

Sobriety from addiction is a damn tough thing. I am speaking first hand as I am a recovering alcoholic. I am on my second stint with sobriety. My first was for a year some years ago. Now I am permanently dry and have been so for over six months now. As a bartender, I can assure you that it was challenging to become sober to say the least. One of the things that encouraged me to dry out was testing that found that my liver function was beginning to decline.

I, like many alcoholics come from a long line of alcoholics. My grandfather died young due to drinking and one of my uncles is on his second liver. Had my uncle not had a liver transplant, he would have died over a decade ago. In knowing the way my uncle drank, had he not been forced into sobriety for nearly a year before he got his transplant, he almost assuredly would have continued drinking after his transplant and would have died. The liver would have been wasted. I am glad for the responsible policies that forced him to break from his dependency though it did make for a tense period of time on the waiting list. Many alcoholics die on the waiting list unfortunately but it makes the requirement no less important. Bear in mind that many non-drinkers find themselves in need of livers and die on waiting lists as well. How many livers do we want to risk on people who may destroy them if we remove the sobriety requirement?

In my first stint with sobriety, I fully immersed myself in the program with Alcoholics Anonymous. While I didn’t care for the spiritual nature of the program, the sharing and time with other alcoholics was valuable to me in gaining and maintaining my sobriety at that time. One lesson that is clear from the shared wisdom of countless alcoholics in the program is that sober time is critical in reducing the chances of relapse. The first 90 days are the toughest. The next bar is six months. While many alcoholics unfortunately can relapse after years, if they can make it past a year of sobriety things are looking pretty good for them. That is why a six month sobriety for liver transplantation is not arbitrary or unreasonable.

There are studies being done to see how effective this waiting period is and we can wait and see I guess.

Now, on to the main subject here.

Delilah Saunders is a young native activist who sadly found herself in need of a liver transplant. As with everybody else in Ontario she was required to remain sober for six months before becoming eligible for the procedure. Due to her profile as an activist, other activists along with Amnesty International began protesting and claiming that it was discrimination to make Delilah wait for a transplant like everybody else.

It is sad but clear that anti-discrimination activists have utterly no idea what discrimination is.

From a CBC article on the issue:

Sobriety requirement ‘discriminatory’

The vigil heard that the policy of requiring six-months of sobriety before being put on the wait list for a liver transplant discriminates disproportionately against Indigenous people

How in the hell is having an equal policy for all races suddenly discrimination?

Yes, native people do suffer from addiction issues more than non-native people. That is due to our utterly failed reserve system which is essentially a system of apartheid maintained under the racist “Indian Act”.

None of the above justifies different status on medical requirements for transplantation.

One of the worst things being done to natives today is the nanny-state infantilization of them as a people to the point where they are never found to be personally responsible for any of their actions. This bullshit claim of discrimination in the case of liver transplant requirements is a prime example of it.

Our world seems to be going mad as identity politics dominate and an endless search for new perceived racial inequities has become a profession unto itself. It is tough to think of things more damned stupid than claiming that equal medical treatment is racist yet here we are.

On a good note, Delilah Saunders is reported to be recovering without a transplant so far. Lets hope that she recovers fully and learns to live a healthy life going forward. Even with live donation, the cost for transplant is around $40,000 for some very scarce medical dollars which could go to other patients if need be so she never needs the transplant it is great for everybody. If Delilah does still need the transplant and remains sober for the period long enough for it that is a good outcome too.

Lets just get off this tiresome and divisive bullshit of calling everything and anything discriminatory whenever something goes adversely for a native person. It is not helping anybody native or non-native alike.

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Supply management. An economic anvil on the necks of Canadians.

eggs

Supply management in agriculture is a policy in Canada that is harming consumers and producers from coast to coast. It is hard to believe that we maintain an economic policy that is so detrimental to Canadians as a whole. Part of the issue is that most Canadians don’t even know that such a policy even exists and I suspect if most people realized that they are paying hundreds of dollars a year due to this market control system that they would happily support dumping this primitive policy.

There are nothing but benefits to be seen for Canadians if we get rid of our supply management policies. People will spend less on food essentials and have more opportunity to eat healthier while Canadian producers will be able to expand our export markets and diversify our economy.

Supply management is a socialist market control policy that allows government to micromanage supplies of dairy, eggs and poultry products through a system of quotas and tariffs. This protects a small number of producers who have production quotas thus forcing higher prices on consumers. A dairy producer pays roughly $28,000 for the right to keep one dairy cow. That means a herd of 70 (not terribly large) has a quota value of $2 million. That price is of course forwarded to consumers. Quotas are restricted and it literally is illegal to produce milk, eggs or chickens over a certain number without a quota.

The waste from this system is brutal too. My wife grew up on a small dairy farm for example. Her father had a quota to sell a certain amount of cream but was not allowed to sell milk. The cows were milked and the cream separated and sold. The remaining milk that was not consumed by the household was literally dumped. It would have been illegal to sell it. Sounds rather Soviet doesn’t it? These sorts of examples abound in all supply managed industries and we are all paying dearly for it.

In dairy alone families pay an extra $276 per year due to supply management. When chicken and eggs are taken into account, families are spending nearly $500 per year for these policies. These are premiums paid on staple food items. If families paid regular (much lower) market cost for these items, they would be more encouraged to purchase them of course meaning a likelihood of less processed and unhealthy foods being in the cupboards.

In Canada we actually had organized crime participating in cheese smuggling because our cheese costs so much more in Canada than right across the border in the United States. This sounds like a comedy but it really is happening. When supply of an item in demand is restricted by government, smuggling is always soon to follow.

Some people lamely try to claim that these market controls protect the family farm which is utterly untrue. Supply management has actually wiped out small farms and led to larger factory style production as only large companies can afford to operate under our quota system. From 1971 to 2011 the number of dairy farms in Canada dropped by 91%! This trend has happened in poultry and egg industries too. So much for the family farm.

Market diversification and creative production is stifled by these horrible policies. Free range chickens are much in demand by consumers. Nobody is allowed to produce more than 300 chickens without a quota however which is not enough to live on while a quota application could take years and may never be granted. Quotas are usually in the range of 70,000 or more birds too which hardly helps a small producer. How does one get started in this foolish system? The same applies to eggs.

Small farms making specialty cheeses or types of milk are nearly impossible. I remember a story of a small ice cream producer in Ontario being shut down because the cream costs were simply too damn high. How many other small to medium sized enterprises are we missing out on because of supply management?

Our policies are costing us billions in lost exports as well according to one report. Tariffs and quotas get our producers barred from foreign markets thus costing us countless jobs and tax revenue. Our outdated policies have been a sticking point in many trade negotiations with other nations too so we are losing on import and export opportunities that range outside of supply managed products due to these disputes.

Supply management is a losing policy that costs us all and only benefits a tiny number of people who hold those precious quotas. Most nations on Earth have moved away from supply management policies and have seen nothing but benefits in doing so. New Zealand is now known as “the Saudi Arabia of milk” now that they rid themselves of their supply management and let their economy develop and expand. With the size of our nation with so much viable farmland, we really are missing out on huge opportunities here.

Rarely is a single policy ever doing so much damage. People fight back and forth about the merit of cutting taxes to put more money back in the pockets of consumers. Well, if we got rid of supply management we would put billions of dollars back in the pockets of consumers and it would not cost the government a cent.

The protected dairy, egg and cheese producers are price fixing in a way that would be illegal if any other industry tried it. They are a strong lobby and are essentially racketeers sliding under the radar of public perception. Government hides from the issue for fear of angering the producers with quotas while all consumers and most producers pay the price.

We need to inform the public of the price they are paying for these idiotic policies and then have government repeal them. There is nothing but benefit to us all in doing so. As far as I can tell only the Libertarian Party of Canada is promoting such a repeal.  We need common sense and open markets and neither Harper nor Trudeau appear prepared to give them to us.

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By every measure the Canadian reserve system is an abject failure.

For decades Canada has been doing everything possible to try and repair the grossly broken native reserve system. Every year expenditures directed to reserves are increased by all levels of government. Veritable armies of consultants are sent to reserves to improve conditions. Summits, conferences and special events are held constantly trying to address challenges on reserves in Canada and academics churn out endless long-winded but hollow papers expounding on how reserves are essential to the well being of natives in Canada.

Despite all of these efforts, the socioeconomic misery of native reserves continues and is actually growing worse. Hundreds of thousands of people are living in misery on these race based enclaves with utterly no sign of relief in sight.

When will it be time to face reality and accept that the reserve system itself is a total failure? How much more time will we let pass before coming to this general realization? How much more suffering has to happen?

One of the main things that has neutered politicians and the press alike has been the tactic utilized by people invested in the status quo of labelling all who criticize the system as racists. The tactic has now been so overused that it really is beginning to lose effect. True native leaders are beginning to surface and seek systemic change and self-serving activists like Pam Palmater & Theresa Spence are finding themselves delegated to the sidelines due to their own extremism

I am going to list the stats below that clearly demonstrate the catastrophic failure in the system. It is not racist to do this. I am not claiming these stats are like this because of the shortcomings of a race. These stats are like this due to people living in the apartheid system of racial segregation that we call reserves. Any race would be dysfunctional in the circumstances that reserve-born people find themselves in under the Indian Act.

Please look at those stats and honestly try to think to yourself how any of them will change in the current system. We can do some things to ease these issues, but as long as we have a separate class of people segregated racially and living under different set of laws, these conditions simply will not change.

 

The stats below came from here.

 HEALTH

Healthcare is always a dominant issue in Canadian politics. It is cliché but true that if you don’t have your health, you truly have nothing. While supporters of the status quo love to quote a discredited study showing apparent increased cancer rates among natives near oilsands areas, they neglect to mention that natives on reserves suffer from higher cancer rates on pretty much every reserve in Canada due to lifestyles that create health problems.

Teams are sent to reserves and health education programs tailored to on-reserve natives are myriad. Despite that, the health issues and challenges faced by reserve dwelling natives are untenable.

While over 76% of Canadians are non-smokers now, only 41% of natives on reserve are non smokers.One doesn’t need to be a doctor to see how this increases cases of cancer on reserves.

Drinking and other substance abuses are well above and beyond those suffered by off-reserve citizens.

Obesity rates are more than double that of off-reserve Canadians. This leads to all sorts of complications such as diabetes and heart disease.

Suicide rates among native youth are 5-6 times that of non-native youth.

All of these factors among others lead to a general and unacceptable gap in life expectancies between natives and non-natives.

In 2000, life expectancy at birth for the Registered Indian population was estimated at 68.9 years for males and 76.6 years for females. This reflects differences of 8.1 years and 5.5 years, respectively, from the 2001 Canadian population’s life expectancies.

Many health issues are related to the overwhelming poverty of residents of reserves.

Housing and poverty 

Housing is a chronic issue on native reserves and I have written on why it will never improve in the current system here.

Members of the Indian Industry and others who personally benefit from the current system keep insisting that if we simply increase expenditures on housing that problems will end. That has been proven wrong so many times that it is depressingly laughable. The capacity to absorb resources for housing on reserves is infinite.

Davis Inlet was a perfect and prime example. Like so many reserves, Davis Inlet hit the wall and hit an untenable wall of substance abuse and housing shortcomings. At a cost of $200 million the entire community of a few hundred people was moved to a brand new location.  Despite that move, the issues remain and continue in the town’s new location. It is the system, not the lack of expenditures that is destroying these people!

Native housing falls below normal standards by every measure.

Sewage, water and emergency services all fall short on reserves despite money spent as well.

Generating local taxes on reserves is one idea but with the appalling differential in income between on and off reserve natives, it simply will not work. The money is not there.

Education 

Education is often and correctly pointed out as a means to ease native poverty. Despite this knowledge, despite extra-spending through scholarships, grants, affirmative action in post-secondary institutions and countless other native education plans and programs, the outcomes simply are falling short.

Just over a third of reserve residents manage to even graduate high-school.

The inspiration to pursue education simply is not there for a dependent people who see no future for themselves no matter how many opportunities are presented.

CRIME

 As can be seen below, crime rates are incredibly higher on reserves as compared to off of them. Much goes unreported of course in cases of domestic abuse and animal cruelty that are difficult to monitor. What do we expect with people locked into isolated locations of poverty and misery?

Criminal Code incidents reported to police on-reserve, 2004 
Location of incident
On-reserve Outside reserves
Number of incidents Rate per 100,000 population Number of incidents Rate per 100,000 population
Homicide 41 13 581 2
Attempted murder 24 7 693 2
Robbery 162 50 27,315 93
Assault 20,804 6,464 225,843 770
Sexual assault 1,694 526 21,840 74
Other sexual offences 123 38 2,502 9
Abduction 30 9 605 2
Total violent crimes 22,878 7,108 279,379 953
Breaking and entering 7,276 2,261 267,441 912
Motor vehicle theft 2,887 897 166,657 568
Theft over $5,000 257 80 17,037 58
Theft $5,000 and under 7,586 2,357 673,299 2,297
Possession of stolen goods 594 185 34,806 119
Fraud 691 215 96,400 329
Total property crimes 19,291 5,994 1,255,640 4,283
Prostitution 9 3 6,484 22
Gaming and betting 2 1 191 1
Offensive weapons 1,289 400 16,713 57
Arson 603 187 12,545 43
Bail violations 5,337 1,658 98,997 338
Counterfeiting currency 282 88 159,607 544
Disturbing the peace 13,721 4,263 103,301 352
Mischief (property damage over $5,000) 810 252 11,836 40
Mischief (property damage $5,000 and under) 15,990 4,968 325,025 1,109
Other 12,883 4,003 209,047 713
Total other Criminal Code offences 50,926 15,823 943,746 3,219
Total Criminal Code offences 93,095 28,925 2,478,765 8,455

Increased law enforcement will not ease this epidemic of crime. Natives are already hugely over-represented in our justice system. Again we have to change the system rather than trying to patch the current failing one.

We often hear of people trying to claim that we need to maintain the reserve system in order to preserve native culture. As with so many things, that is failing dismally. Language and cultural practices are vanishing  quickly on reserve. When one starts looking into the more accomplished native artists and performers out there, they will invariably find that most of those people have left their reserves or were never on one to begin with. As has been said before; poverty will kill culture far faster than prosperity ever will.

Do Chinese Canadians need utter separation from society in order to retain their culture? Jamaican Canadians? Ukranian? Of course not.

Ending the reserve system is not cultural genocide nor assimilation!

I really get tired of idiots perpetuating the crap above. Cultures flourish all around the world without segregation and native ones can and will too. The current culture being fostered on native reserves is simply one of dependency and misery. Hardly a reflection of some kind of noble past culture that some naïve academics and activists appear to envision.

Nobody can honestly look at the trends and numbers with regards to the Canadian reserve system and claim that it is sustainable or even humane. It is a catastrophic failure being held together by the racist Indian Act. We need to work to get away from both the Indian Act and the reserve system as it stands or things will only get worse for everybody concerned.

I understand that we can’t simply end these sorts of things overnight. Until we set ending the system as an end goal though, all we are doing is futilely trying to fix a system that needs ending rather than repair.

I look forward to informed and realistic discussions seeking ways to end the cycle of misery that we have in Canada with the reserve system under the Indian Act.

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