Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bob Rae comes to Dion’s rescue

Former NDP leader Bob Rae, with head nodding approval from former Progressive Conservative leadership hopeful, Scott Brison, was effusive in his praise for Stéphane Dion DION PRIORITIES today in Halifax.

“A man of great vision and a man of great determination,” Rae told supporters. These are certainly nothing like the words of criticism Rae used while running against Dion in the last Liberal leader contest.

Dion and Rae were in Halifax where Dion promised to spend $900 million over four years on a catastrophic drug program.

“In the Canada we want, Canadians battling a serious illness should not be forced to buy the prescription medicine they need,” Dion said. Dion did not explain why the Liberal party which was in power from 1993 to 2006—many years of which were marked by huge budget surpluses—never saw fit to provide this level of help to “Canadians battling a serious illness?”

In 2002, Mr. Roy Romanow proposed that the federal government reimburse 50 per cent of public drug-benefit plans above an annual personal threshold of $1,500.

The Liberal government did nothing.

Also in 2002, Senator Michael Kirby proposed a plan to deal with catastrophic drug costs that would see individual spending on drugs capped at 2 per cent of income.

The Liberal government did nothing.

In fact, the call for a national pharmacare program can be traced back 42 years to a Royal Commission on Health Services report. A national pharmacare program was also recommended by the National Forum on Health in 1997 and in the Liberal Red Book that same year.

Still the Liberal government did nothing.

Shame on you, Mr. Dion. You were a senior member of a governing party from 1996 which, even though it was awash with cash for many of those years, did nothing on this file. Now we are supposed to believe that you've finally seen the light?

Bob Rae also indulged in some pot-calling-the-kettle-black rhetoric by describing Stephen Harper as a “one-man band” and “Herbert Hoover in a blue sweater.” Herbert Hoover was the U.S. president who lost the 1932 election because he failed to combat the Great Depression.

“I think we can do better than that,” crowed Rae, apparently missing the irony of his Hoover reference. After all, the last and only government Rae headed was driven from office in Ontario because of its inability to manage the economy. He blamed his poor performance on a recession.

1 comment:

  1. Bob Rae to the rescue? after saying:

    "You were elected because you're not me and you're not Michael Ignatieff."

    Stumbling campaign angers Liberal insiders
    Sep 16, 2008
    Linda Diebel
    National Affairs Writer

    last paragraph:

    'Things are so bad in Liberal circles, a story making the rounds describes a policy meeting in which Dion insisted on doing things his way because,
    "I was elected to lead the people of this party to leave a better planet."

    "No," said Bob Rae. "You were elected because you're not me and you're not Michael Ignatieff."

    Rae could not be reached for comment.