Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Community Schools: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Jeff Niederhoffer is a Winnipeg lawyer and political activist. Below is an article he wrote that deals with the issue of public school funding by Gary Doer's socialist NDP government.

It took a little under six years, but the Doer government has finally seen fit to extend its philosophy of governance - dividing and ruling Manitobans on the basis of their income and socioeconomic status – to the financing of schools.

The Doerites call it the 'community-schools' program. The government press release announcing the initiative bubbles over with enthusiasm.

"By offering a community-based approach to education and neighborhood development," the release proclaims, "community schools create partnerships, build relationships and pool resources to solve common issues."

That's the rhetoric. To understand what the community-schools program is, however, you have to understand what it does. The dirty little secret is that community schools have almost nothing to do with education. In the hands of our Premier and Education Minister, a potentially innovative approach to education has become an exercise in social engineering. The community-schools program reflects a preoccupation with wealth redistribution that is typical of the Doer government. The community-schools program allocates new funding to schools, but only if they are "located in communities with low socio-economic status". The subsidies have nothing to do with measurable educational criteria such as performance or demonstrated skills. While the program was announced amidst new-age buzzwords - ‘creating partnerships’, 'pooling resources', etc. - the truth is that the community-schools initiative is a social-welfare program. The cheques given to schools under the program come with no strings attached, at least in terms of traditional educational standards. The community-schools subsidy is fundamentally without concrete standards to define success or failure, and it arguably represents a fundamental misunderstanding by the Doer government of its role in establishing province-wide education policy.

What is indisputable is that the community-schools plan takes provincial money away from other education funding priorities. While funding under the community-schools program is channeled to 'communities with low socio-economic status', the Doer government is simultaneously ignoring legitimate educational needs in other parts of the province. Tory MLA Jack Reimer has noted that, even as the province churns out subsidies to community schools, there is a marked shortage of schools in his own constituency of Southdale. Because the Southdale area is rapidly developing, and more families are moving into the area, there is a demonstrated need for more schools. In Jack Reimer's Southdale riding, as in numerous other areas of Manitoba, the Doer government turns a deaf ear. There have been no offers of subsidies or support. And why not?

The short answer is that these areas do not have 'low socio-economic status', and thus do not warrant community schools. With not enough schools to go around, children in these areas frequently have no choice but to attend schools that are infeasibly far away from where they live. Reimer rightfully laments the social dislocations caused by this situation: "This NDP government does not recognize the importance of community stability by having children bused out of the area and not having them interact in their own neighborhood."

Thus, we have the community-schools program. As now structured, it is a program that subsidizes education in 'communities with low socio-economic status', but only by defunding education in other communities. Bluntly speaking, it robs Peter to pay Paul. In a way that may perhaps never have been intended, community schools can truly be said to provide a revealing insight into the educational priorities of the Doer government.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Stephen Harper BBQ Tour Comes to Winnipeg

The Italian Caboto Center, 1055 Wilkes Avenue, was the stage last night for Stephen Harper’s cross Canada BBQ tour. The event drew a large crowd of Conservative supporters. A few members of the mainstream media were also on hand to record the event. Surprisingly, mosquitoes and left-wing political activists were nowhere to be found on this cold and windy summer night in Winnipeg.

The event, billed as an image make-over tour by the media, was very successful. Guests at the BBQ were invited to see a side of Stephen Harper that newsmakers like Paul Hunter and Terry Milewski of the CBC would never want Canadians to see. They saw a charming, witty and charismatic side of the party leader who won a resounding 84% approval at the last Conservative Party of Canada Convention.

Delivering Stephen’s introduction speech was the MP for Kildonan – St. Paul, Joy Smith, who gave a memorable speech. She talked at length about Paul Martin’s lack of character and related some interesting facts about Paul Martin’s company, Canadian Steamship Lines. The details included Paul Martin’s decision to relocate most of its affiliates to the Barbados, Bermuda and Liberia, where there are little or no corporate taxes. Canada Steamship Lines also changed the flags on its ships and began hiring foreign crews who do not receive the same salaries and benefits as Canadian crews. Finally, shipbuilding for the company began taking place offshore instead of in Canadian shipyards. After drawing the contrast between Stephen Harper and Paul Martin she said, “We have a man here that cannot be bought.”

When Stephen Harper finally took to the stage he delivered an excellent speech. He pointed out something that Conservative bloggers have been saying for some time now. Forget what you hear in the polls. Forget what the media tells you. If the liberals really believed that they would win an election if it were held right now, we would be in an election right now. When you stop to think about every dirty trick the liberals have pulled to stay in power and to avoid an election, you have to know that everyone, including the liberals, are aware that they are finished when Canadians are finally given the chance to vote.

Another concept of the liberal party that was highlighted in Harper’s speech was the concept of symbolism over substance. Much of what the liberal party has done this year is completely phony. The quality of health care in this country is abysmal and yet the media lionizes the liberals every time they sign another health accord. The liberals have spent $1 billion to date on federal daycare, something the media speaks of glowingly, and yet nobody can name a single Canadian that has received daycare with that money. The liberals have spent $2 billion on the gun registry, but gun crime is still going up.

Every time the liberals claim to be solving a problem, papers are signed with much fanfare, the media gushes over how wonderful the liberals are and somebody, somewhere…usually a liberal…gets a cheque. This has been going on for 12 years now, yet Canadians can see reality for themselves that they are not getting anything out of all this wasteful spending. Canadians only need to wind up in the emergency room of their local hospital or spend 2 years a list waiting for treatment to know that things in this country are getting worse not better.

The funniest moment came at this point of the speech when Stephen Harper was on the subject of health care. He said, “If ever there was a stinging indictment of liberal policy in this country it was the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada.” He was referring to the recent Court decision that declared ‘access to a waiting list is not the same as access to health care’. He went on to say, “Now you all know that I am not usually one to quote rulings from the Supreme Court of Canada,” at which point the crowd broke up in laughter.

Another notable point Stephen raised in his speech included the subject of Quebec separation. Twelve years of government corruption including the sponsorship scandal, which is the biggest vote rigging scandal in Canadian history, has breathed new life into the separatist movement. The liberals have created a new reality which may see the next Canadian Prime Minister preside over the break-up of Canada. It is a harsh reality, but one that we may no longer be able to avoid thanks to the liberal party.

The liberals continue to pretend they are the only federalist option as they promise to investigate their own misdeeds and clean up their own mess. Mr. Harper pointed out the obvious when he said, “Canadians don’t want a government that spends years investigating corruption. They want a government were it doesn’t happen in the first place.”

The final topic he mentioned in his speech was the Senate. One of the biggest problems we have in Canada is that Canada’s Senate is not accountable to the people. The purpose of the Senate is to temper legislation as it is passed through the House of Commons. The fact that the Senate has become nothing more than a rubber stamp for liberalism shows that the Senate is not working.

The best example of which was the fast tracking of the biggest social engineering bill ever to clear the floor of the House. The same-sex marriage bill blew through the Senate at record speed before unaccountable Senators rushed out the door to start their summer holidays. When Harper is finally elected Prime Minister of Canada we can take pride not only in voting corruption out, but also in having the opportunity to vote new Senators in.

As a supporter of Conservative values, this author walked away from the event optimistic about the future of our country. If Stephen Harper had an image problem, it was only because the liberal friendly mainstream media portrayed the man as someone who had an image problem. The reality is quite the opposite. Stephen Harper is a good man and a great Conservative leader.

“God Bless you all, and God bless Canada.”

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Hospital Waiting List Numbers are the Next Big Liberal Scandal

The following Tom Brodbeck article appeared in the Winnipeg SUN. It deals with the issue of hospital wait times. The federal liberals have set up a commission to deal with the issue of waiting lists which can be as long as two years in some cases. The person picked by the liberals to head the commission has a proven track record of overseeing the manipulation of waiting list numbers for political reasons. If the liberals wanted a man who would do absolutely nothing to fix a problem, while lying to convince the public that the numbers are in decline, they found their man in Brian Postl.

Here is the article as it appeared in the Winnipeg SUN:

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority CEO Dr. Brian Postl has been named head of some federal health-care wait list commission by Prime Minister Paul Martin.

Notwithstanding how bogus it is for the feds to even pretend they can have any control or influence over wait lists for procedures like knee surgery, cancer treatment or diagnostic testing.

It's pretty funny they hired a guy who heads a health authority whose policy it is to lie to people about at least one waiting list.

That waiting list is the number of people forced to wait in emergency room hallways to get a hospital bed.

Maybe Canadians would like to know the WRHA's dirty little secret on how it forces Winnipeg hospitals to fudge their numbers when counting how many patients are waiting in gurneys in drafty hallways.

If they knew this, they may not be so happy with Martin's choice.

The Winnipeg Sun exposed a few years ago how the WRHA forces hospitals to file bogus numbers with the health authority when doing daily counts of patients in hallways.

It was brought to our attention by nurses who do the counts and who weren't too happy with bureaucrats telling them to lie about how many people were languishing in ER hallways.

What the hospitals are forced to do is count, every day at 8 a.m., how many patients are admitted to hospital who are in the ER hallway.

Then staff are told to count the number of empty spots elsewhere in the ER, including space in the observation unit or examination rooms, and subtract that number from the total number of patients warehoused in the hallway.

That's the number the hospital is told to file with the WRHA, which is eventually posted on a government website.

So if there are 10 patients in the hallway but five empty spots elsewhere in the ER -- spots that may be left open for good medical reasons -- the hospital reports that there were only five patients in the hallway that day.

The WRHA has been doing this in Winnipeg for the past five to six years.

They have been claiming that "hallway medicine" is on the decline.

Well, that's in part because they started forcing hospitals to fudge their numbers.

But they also made other changes to their methodology that artificially brought the numbers down.
They stopped counting psychiatric patients waiting in the hallways, for example.

And they stopped counting patients awaiting surgery. Naturally, the reported numbers drop.

In 2003, the Winnipeg Sun, through a freedom of information request, obtained the real hallway patient numbers for the month of February at one of the city's community hospitals -- Victoria General Hospital.

We compared them with the fraudulent numbers reported by the WRHA and found the real patient counts in hallway were as much as nine times higher than what was reported.

So if Paul Martin is looking for someone who knows how to manipulate waiting list data, he's found the right guy in Brian Postl, who rakes in a salary of $352,344 by the way.

Maybe Brian Postl should figure out how to reduce soaring waiting lists in Winnipeg for knee and hip replacement surgery and for diagnostic testing like MRIs, CT scans and ultrasounds before he hits the national circuit.

People in Winnipeg routinely wait a year or two -- sometimes longer -- for knee and hip surgery.
And Postl's going to be the national expert on waiting lists?

Please.

And where is Dr. Postl going to find the time to perform his new federal task?

Shouldn't he be busy running the WRHA's massive bureaucracy -- which has tripled in cost over the past few years and now occupies six floors of plush office space in downtown Winnipeg?

Canadians may be getting a new commission on how to reduce hospital waiting lists, but they should take it with a grain of salt.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hell’s Angels Steal a Page from the Liberal Public Relations Play Book

A chapter of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle gang has launched a public relations campaign to shore up their image. After being hit by police raids last week, the B.C. chapter of the Hell’s Angels has decided to engage the public in a bid to clear up the misconception people have that they are anything more than a men’s club for motorcycle enthusiasts.

Speaking on behalf of the Hell’s Angels, public relations spokesperson Rick Ciarniello said blaming his organization for the misdeeds of a few bad apples would be like calling the entire police force a criminal organization on account of the Stanley Park six. The Stanley Park six was a group of Vancouver police officers that were convicted of assaulting suspected drug dealers.

The campaign to shore up public opinion comes within months of watching another criminal gang soar in public opinion polls despite months of testimony at the Gomery Commission. The Libranos Party of Canada has engaged in widespread criminal activity including money laundering and bribing public officials dating back to 1994. Money stolen from Canadian taxpayers frequently changed hands in brown paper bags as the libranos stole elections for over a decade.

Since 1994 the libranos have laundered taxpayer money in many ways. The most popular tactic they used was to funnel the money to ad firms for little or no work. These ad firms then funneled the money back to the libranos who enjoy a tax exempt status similar to that of charities.

During the month of May, key members of the libranos’ Ottawa chapter sought to bribe government officials including members of the Conservative Party and Bloc Quebecois. One such official, Gurmant Grewal, made audio recordings as he was being bribed by senior members of the libranos. Mr. Grewal has since enrolled in a witness protection program while enforcers for the libranos seek to assassinate his character.

In spite of the wide spread knowledge in Canada that the libranos are a criminal organization, they still enjoy huge support from the public, especially in Ontario, according to left-wing friendly polling firms such as Environics and the Strategic Counsel.

The libranos positive image is the direct result of an effective public relations campaign which works in concert with the liberal friendly mainstream media. The image they portray of their gang is that of a group of people who simply enjoy being chauffeured around Ottawa in stretched limousines. Whenever a librano member is caught breaking the law, the public relations people go to work blaming a few bad apples while deflecting criticism away from the organization as a whole.

Members of the Hell’s Angels have obviously figured out that if the libranos can have a good image in spite of their criminal activity, then anyone can.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Bloggers Unraveling the Liberal Smear Campaign against Gurmant Grewal

Gurmant Grewal is the Conservative MP who exposed liberal vote buying by recording his conversations with senior staff of the liberal party. In the run-up to the confidence motion in May, the liberals were desperate to avoid an election. What the liberals did was peddle influence by bribing members of the Conservative Party in exchange for their vote in Parliament. Sick of seeing the liberals get away with denying that bribes were being offered, Gurmant Grewal took it upon himself to tape conversation as senior staff of the liberal party tried to bribe him. Exposing the liberals this way put Mr. Grewal in the crosshairs of the liberals and the liberal friendly mainstream media.

Since those tapes were made public, the liberal media has been on a relentless campaign to smear Gurmant Grewal. Every accusation has been thrown at him including accusations he doctored the tapes and accusations that stole campaign contributions for personal use.

The accusations that he doctored the tapes are ridiculous. The tapes in question run over one hour in length and Ujjal Dosanjh, the liberal Health Minister, can clearly be heard talking to Gurmant about foreign appointments and cabinet positions. Tim Murphy, the Prime Minister’s chief of Staff, can be heard just as clearly as he coaches Mr. Grewal on how to lie to the media in the event he decides to take the liberals up on their bribes. There is simply no way to spin the content of those tapes, so the liberals and the media have moved on to accusations he stole campaign contributions.

Terry Milewski filed a CBC story that alleges Gurmant Grewal cashed cheques that were supposed to be campaign contributions. As a result, the people making the contributions were never given receipts. Terry Milewski proudly displayed the cheques in his news piece and all but declared him guilty of stealing money from his campaign, but bloggers looking into this story have turned up some interesting facts.

An article by Back off Government points to a news story that was covered by Nicholas Read of the CanWest News Service.

The article titled Grewal donor who wants tax receipt acknowledges ties to Dosanjh says it all. It turns out that Sarup Mann, the Vancouver businessman that is demanding a tax receipt for money he says he gave to Gurmant Grewal, is actually a member at large of Liberal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh's riding association.

Small Dead Animals offers a letter written by Jim Holt, president of the Conservative Newton – North Delta riding association, to Terry Milewski of the CBC. The letter points out many facts that were overlooked when the CBC reported its hit piece and shows copies of the chques in question.

Firstly, we have a Mr. Kandola, who gave a donation of $200. He did receive a proper receipt and his contribution appears in the Elections Canada records.

Then there is the claim of Mr. Dhahan who attended a political dinner for Mr. Grewal back in December of 2003. Mr. Dhahan also happens to be a good friend of liberal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh. The $600 cheque he wrote may have been made out to Gurmant Grewal, but if you look at the endorsement it was not cashed. Rather, it was signed over to The Grand Taj Hall in Surrey to help pay for dinner.

The next person mentioned by the CBC was Mr. Mann who wrote two separate cheques. He is also a very good friend of Ujjal Dosanjh, who, when the story broke about Mr. Grewal taping liberals breaking the law and offering bribes, called Mr. Grewal to voice his displeasure. Mr. Mann’s first cheque for $600 also cleared the same way as Mr. Dhahan’s. It was signed over to The Grand Taj Hall to pay for dinner. Mr. Mann’s second cheque for $1,800 was made out to the campaign of Mr. Grewal’s wife in June of 2004. Gurmant’s wife Nina is also a Conservative MP. That cheque clearly shows it was properly endorsed by the Registered Agent for Nina Grewal, and deposited to the EDA account.

The last cheque that was mentioned in the CBC story was a cheque for $1,000 made out by Imperial Plumbing and this one seems to be a mystery. It is worth noting that the cheque was cashed but it was never endorsed on the back. The cheque seems to have been cleared at the Khalsa Credit Union the same day it was drawn. Equally baffling is the fact the item was processed at a branch of that credit union about 20 miles from where the cheque was prepared. Even more baffled is the fact that the date the transaction(s) occurred Mr. Grewal was in Ottawa, and either in his office, or in the House of Commons.

The liberal mainstream media loves to assassinate the character of Conservative politicians, but bloggers are now here to set the record straight.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Guys' Rules

Mary Stansberry is a friend from Kentucky, USA, that always sends interesting e-mail. One such letter arrived today called the Guy’s Rules. At last a guy has taken the time to write this all down. Finally, we can hear the guys' side of the story and it's pretty good. We always hear the rules from the female point of view, well, now here are the rules from the male side. These are our rules!

Please note... these are all numbered 1 ON PURPOSE!

1. Men ARE NOT mind readers.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports is like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.

1. If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done, but not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," We will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine...Really.

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation, or golf.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!

1. Thank you for reading this.

Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight; but did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Liberals Gearing Up for Renewed Fight to Preserve Socialized Medicine

Today, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein unveiled his plan for health care reform in his Province. The plan allows for some private care to exist side by side the current public system. Access to health care will still be available to everyone.

The reforms are designed to allow the private sector to find solutions to problems that government politicians created when they imposed our current socialist health care system on the country. Long waiting lists, people being treated in hospital hallways and substandard care are just some of the problems. There have even been cases of Canadians dying on waiting lists, waiting to receive the care they need.

Ralph Klein’s new plan called the third way, will go a long way to fixing many of these problems. The most significant change will involve non-necessary health care. So much of a provinces health budget is used on things like abortions, sex-change operations, chiropractors and podiatrists. Allowing the people of Alberta to pay for these kinds of non-essential medical services will free up more of the Province’s money for emergency care, diagnostics and other medical services that save lives.

Already the liberal mainstream media has the Alberta Premier on the defensive with accusations that his proposals amount to two-tier health care. Two-tier healthcare is the favorite buzz word of left-wing Canadians that object to any reform of Canada’s broken health care system. The only solution the left has for fixing our health care system is to spend more tax payer money. This is the reason Paul Martin was lionized for agreeing to extra health care spending spread out over 10-years.

These reforms are long overdue in a country that has embraced socialist healthcare, watched it fail miserably for decades and refused the bitter medicine necessary to fix the problem.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

God Recalls Independent Canadian MP - Chuck Cadman

The independent Member of Parliament, who was largely to blame for prolonging the life of the most corrupt federal government Canada has ever known, has died. MP Chuck Cadman died yesterday after a two year battle with skin cancer. He was 57-years-old.

His vote in the May 19 non-confidence motion on the $4.6 billion NDP budget amendment gave the liberals the 152-152 tie they needed to survive and avoid facing the Canadian voters. With the liberal party way behind in the polls and drowning in debt from overspending in the last election, the liberals were expected to be ousted from power. Cadman’s vote was all that saved them.

Chuck Cadman comes from the more Conservative end of politics. He represented the riding of Surrey North first as a member of the Reform Party and then as a member of the Canadian Alliance. When the right was finally united in this country, Chuck was not able to win the riding nomination for the newly formed Conservative Party of Canada. Instead, he chose to run as an independent in the 2004 election which he won.

His decision to enter politics was the result of an unfortunate death. Chuck’s 16-year-old son Jesse was murdered in October of 1992. As a result, Chuck played a role in federal politics as an advocate for victim’s rights and against youth violence. Yet, after thirteen years of liberal rule youth crime is worse than it has ever been and convicted mass murders like Karla Homolka are walking free while the families of murder victims look on in horror. All of this is the direct result of liberal policies which coddle criminals and completely ignore victims.

When Chuck Cadman had the opportunity to defeat the party that stood for everything he fought against, he instead voted to prop them up. Mr. Cadman said his reason for propping up the liberals had to do with his constituents not wanting another election so soon after the last one. This excuse was an obvious lie for two reasons. Number one, Paul Martin vowed in a televised address to call an early election anyway; and number two, this is the exact same excuse that the liberal Health Minister and Paul Martin’s chief of staff voiced while trying to coach Gurmant Grewal on how to lie to reporters in the event he left the Conservative Party to join the liberals. Political analysts agree that the true motivation for Chuck’s propping up the liberals had to do with the bitterness he felt after losing the Conservative nomination.

It is a loss to see Chuck Cadman recalled, but for Canadians, life goes on.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Karla Homolka Justice Pool – Guess the Day Justice is Done on Karla and Win

The mainstream media is full of stories concerning the prison release of Karla Homolka. Canada’s propaganda broadcaster, the CBC, went so far as to interview her in an effort to show the human side of pure evil.

Karla Homolka is Canada’s infamous killer wife, who with the help of husband Paul Bernardo took part in kidnappings, rapes and murders of many young schoolgirls, including Karla’s own sister. Her twelve year sentence, the result of a plea bargain, came to an end this week and now Karla is out of jail and walking the streets of Montreal a free woman.

In her CBC interview, Karla said that she feels that people are out to kill her. The media is reporting that she received many death threats in the weeks leading up to her release.

For that reason, we at The Blue Maple Leaf would like to start a pool. The person who comes the closest to guessing the date and time that justice is finally served on Karla Homolka will receive an autographed and framed portrait of The Blue Maple Leaf.

To enter the contest all you need to do is e-mail this author with your name and the city you live in. Then give the month, day, year, and approximate time that Karla Homolka meets her inevitable fate.

This contest is open to everyone, but please...no cheating. hehe

Monday, July 04, 2005

Tom Brodbeck follows up with Two More Stories of a Socialist NDP Nightmare

Last week we presented the real life story of Thomas Hanaway. Mr. Hanaway is the 80-year-old Winnipeg resident who’s life was taken over by Manitoba’s Socialist NDP appointed Public Trustee. He had no chance to appeal and the trustee started withdrawing money from his bank account right away. His life was completely taken over, including everything he owns, by the province even though he lives at home with his wife and 47-year-old son and he commited no crime.

Tom Brodbeck of the Winnipeg Sun followed this story up with an article titled Unwanted Takeover. In it he describes what it is like living under the thumb of a public trustee. The first thing the Hanaway family realized is that Hanaway’s wife, Grace, cannot access her pension cheques because they are deposited into a joint bank account she shares with her husband.

In the final follow up article, Tom Brodbeck explains the process that leads to government taking over your life by way of the public trustee. First, a doctor (any doctor) can deem a person to be unfit. The doctor does not have to tell the patient or the patient’s family about the decision, he simply fills out a one-page, Manitoba Health certificate of incapacity and sends it to the province's director of psychiatric services.

The province’s director reviews the certificate and gains instant access to all the patients’ personal medical information. At this point the director sends a letter to the person named in the certificate and tells them that the government now owns their life.

The troubling thing about this process is that the province’s director makes absolutely no attempt to meet with the person in question. There are no interviews and there is no home visit. The most disturbing thing of all is the lack of an appeals process. Once the director makes his decision there is nothing you can do.

The socialist NDP have always believed they can run our lives better than we can and this scandal is the best example yet.