Sunday, January 08, 2006



It's Saturday morning in Lotusland and I'm sitting in the waiting room of Vancouver's Children's Hospital with my two kids.


Waiting for an I.V. bolus of antibiotics to deal with a pneumonia in the superior lobe of the right lung of the oldest kid and a chest X-ray for the youngest kid because she's started to wheeze too.

I don't notice the huge plaque on the wall until I look up from the oldest kid's math homework (she's in Grade 7; she's missed four days of school and because of all this Fraser Institute-sponsored standardized test crap she's more freaked out about that than the sickness).

Anyway, I'm tired and irritable when I finally notice the big 'Save-On-Foods' sign on the wall which is something, I'm pretty certain, that Gordon Campbell and Little Stephen love in a pseudo-bastardized P3 sort of way.

But I also have a lot of time on my hands, so when the math is finally done I start adding things up trying to figure out what Jimmy Pattison had to pay for to get that plaque. Did he have to pay for the decorating? Did he have to pay for the toys? Did he have to pay for the comfy chairs? Did he have to pay for the TV with the built in DVD player?

I dunno, but the most I can see in that well-appointed waiting room, in terms of a cash money layout, is $50K, or maybe even $100K, tops.

Which sounds like a lot, and it is.

Until you start comparing.

Comparing things like the cost of the bricks and mortar of the hospital itself, and the equipment, and the doctors, and the nurses, and the support staff, and the medicine, and even, grudgingly, the administrators.

Those, of course, cost millions and millions of dollars.

And Save-On-Foods didn't pay for any of that.

We did.

All of us.

And for that we didn't get no stinking plaques.... or free publicity.... or tax breaks.

Which is fine with me, as long as those Administrators and the Political Puppetmasters who appoint them remember that we, the people, are not 'clients' of the hospital.

We are the owners of the thing.

And they better not forget it.


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