Trump’s impulsive missile strikes against Syria have changed nothing and could ultimately prove counterproductive.


This op-ed first appeared in Policy Options on April 11, 2017.

On the evening of April 6, Trump took a break from hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Mar-a-Lago residence to launch air strikes in Syria, targeting the Shayrat airbase. The strikes were punitive, ordered after US intelligence indicated that Bashar al-Assad had once again gassed his own people, killing more than 80 men, women and children. The US strikes were also futile, the knee-jerk reaction of a president who has not planned his next move, let alone thought through a strategy to end the Syrian conflict.

The night Trump called for those strikes, US allies, Canada included, were not consulted, they were notified. According to reports, Trump called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau one hour before the missiles were launched and asked for political support. Continue Reading »

Why is Transformation of Healthcare so Hard?


The need for change in healthcare has been obvious for years. Many studies have been conducted and recommendations made on what’s needed to meet optimally the needs of the population in the current and coming decades. But change itself has been very scarce.

One reason is that none of our 14 provincial/territorial/federal healthcare delivery ‘systems’ has a single governance; the place where the ‘buck stops’ with respect to what each does and does not accomplish and how well or poorly. It is only by default that Canadians hold their governments accountable for how well their hospitals, physicians, pharmacists, and other providers meet their changing needs for healthcare services. On the other hand that there are 14 ‘systems’ could be an advantage as it was when Saskatchewan’s pioneering introduction of Medicare was copied by other jurisdictions.

That there is no governance of healthcare’s delivery rests on David Naylor’s phrase “public payment for private practice”. Continue Reading »