Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Candian Health Care System

Here is a re-posting of an informative opinion piece written by a Canadian living in the U.S.A. who is familiar with both countries health care systems. Thanks to L-girl for recently posting this interesting and educational article on her blog, "We Move to Canada." I thought it an excellent addition to the three articles by Sara Robinson that I have listed on my "Websites/Links" post-the link to which you can find on the right side bar under, "Immigration." One can find them on that page under, " Canadian Health Care."

While the article is written without depth, it is no simpler than the black and white fear based lies that are constantly reported to the U.S. population. It does, however, contain an honest picture of the health care system north of the border. Taken as a whole, the information in all four health care articles listed on my resource page ring true based on my current experience with the Canadian system.

One aspect which I have not yet seen compared is the relaxed ease of use the Canadian population, at least here in Toronto, experience when accessing medical treatment. Patients do not concern themselves with payment and front-line medical workers are overwhelmingly pleasant and friendly. Follow-up calls are not rushed or frustrating and the staff on the other end of the phone are genuinely helpful. These are the interactions my partner and I have had.

Neither system is perfect, but the "facts" regarding Canadian health care being reported to the U.S. population are, for the most part and at best, stilted and misleading. While the Obama administration is attempting to overhaul and improve the U.S. system, (it) they are doing so without solid conviction, allowing the spread of fear that is based on a significant amount of nonsense.

Debunking Canadian Health Care Myths -DenverPost.com

Monday, June 15, 2009

Toronto Islands

Eric, our friend Dan and I took one of the harbour ferries to the Toronto Islands on Sunday. We weren't expecting to be so impressed with the experience. The park and the islands were incredibly green and clean. As always, click on a pic for a larger more detailed viewing.
There are several different beaches-all a bit different from one another. While there seemed to be an overwhelming number of people spending their day on the islands-just like us, the overall atmosphere was pleasant and serene. The park was very clean with one exception-the beach. We stopped and sat for a long moment on Hanlan's Point Beach-which is officially clothing optional.
Gibralter Beach.
Unfortunately, the sand at Hanlan's Beach was the dirtiest part of the park. I am not a fan of smoking, and, unfortunately there were cigarette butts and the like in the sand. Disgraceful. Butts should be viewed as littering as anything else. And fines handed out. The beach was still quite lovely, despite the nasty smokers and their discarded garbage. No pictures of Hanlan's because almost all around me were nude. Above is Gibralter Beach.
Near Centennial Pier
Central Plaza (not sure what it's really called)
Central Plaza again.
Near ferry terminal on Centre Island.
Walking bridge from Centre to Olympic Island.
Views of T.O. from Olympic Island.
We left the Islands incredibly impressed with Toronto. The Islands are an amazing resource. A treasure of a destination-an easy place to spend the day. There seemed to be a nook or cranny, a comfortable spot for everyone-serene and pleasant. Historically and recently there has been talk of building a bridge or tunnel from mainland T.O. to the Islands. Big mistake. I hope they never do it. Keep them just out of reach. Make the park just that more special by having to take a "ride" to get there. I look forward to returning in the near future.