The Page – October 26, 2022

A recent news report says Ontario is short “27,000 nurses and support workers.”
This has to be fake news, correct?
The reason we say this is because, even in Canada’s most populated province which cranks out some pretty big numbers once in awhile, a shortage so big must be attracting attention. Is it?
We did find that every province is having trouble attracting and keeping doctors. And yes, emergency rooms in many places are indeed shutting down once in awhile. Or more often than once in awhile. Like, for eight weeks straight at a time.
But, is each province the equivalent of 27,000 short? Which also means of course, if the shortage is 27,000, does it not follow there must be 27,000 job openings?
Well, if you are living in Manitoba or northern British Columbia, settle down. No, there are not 27,000 job openings. What there are is a shortage measured as 27,000. This is a fine distinction but still, a distinction.
For example, it might be some union saying, as an example, “there should be 2.4 nurses per client in a long term care facility.” So, pulling a number out of thin air, as in “there are currently 15,000 nurses” which let’s say translates into 1.2 nurses per client. So the “new” magic number of 2.4, which we just made up, is double that. Presto, we are now short 2.4 divided by 1.2 which means we need twice as many as what we have now. We hope you followed that!
The question is, are we really short 27,000 nurses in Ontario? Soon to be followed by every other province in Canada. Because, you know, that’s just what happens.
So what is the honest news?
Politicians seem to just sail along, mumbling sweet nothings. Unions of course, want more for their members. The bureaucrats and top civil servants, many making $300,000 to $500,000 or more per year seem to have no answers. Of course, they are too smart to point fingers because they all know better than to make a mess of the gravy train they find themselves on. “Gosh, keeping politicians happy is why we earn the big bucks!”
The honest answer is, “Who the hell knows how many we are short?”
And a truthful statement is, “If this keeps up, more money will be spent, again, on less results.”
All in the best tradition of government.
None of which does anything at all to keep emergency rooms and ICUs open and staffed.

“Cats are rather delicate creatures. They are subject to a great many ailments. But I never heard of one which suffered from insomnia.” – Joseph Wood Krutch

Local rural governments around Alberta have wondered for decades what they can do to attract new doctors.
No offence to those folks who have sat, or are sitting on these so-called “Physician Attraction and Retention Committees” but how is it going out there? What is the “Good, Bad and the Ugly.” Scribes across Canada await your wisdom. Meanwhile Jasper and Canmore have no trouble getting doctors. Can the rest of us get some mountains moved to our neck of the woods?

Moving on to new subjects, Alberta’s new premier, Danielle Smith, is already feeling the heat.
But, is that Alberta heat? Small town and rural Alberta heat? NDP heat? Big city newspaper and media heat?
Maybe a little bit of “all the above.” And some more. But maybe that’s just part of today’s “Quick Draw Critics.” As in, who shouts the loudest and makes the most ridiculous noise gets all the attention.
Remember the tears and hand-wringing way back in 2016 when American Donald Trump was elected president? A lot of the same is going on right now in Alberta Land.
Some UCP diehards are wailing, “Oh my God, we are in so much trouble with Danielle.”
And of course, NDP are chirping and hooting, “We got the next election in the BAG, baby!”
The real news is, almost half of UCP insiders did not think Danielle would win, even though she was the front runner. But she did win. That’s what happens when you talk tough to Ottawa and talk good things to Albertans.
Now its up to party members to support her. Not jump all over her for some mistakes. And up to Danielle to get “status quo” folks to understand – “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

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