The Canadian Taxpayers Federation thinks Ignatieff shouldn’t get involved in health policy questions.
That's what QMI Parliamentary Bureau reporter Daniel Proussalidis wrote. I quoted it on Twitter, then spent most of yesterday afternoon arguing semantics with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Derek Fildebrandt, National Research Director, chastised the Liberal leader for commenting on Vancouver's Supervised Injection Site, claiming Ignatieff had no jurisdiction to speak to the matter as healthcare is a provincial function. CTF's man in Alberta, Scott Hennig, via his Twitter feed, hounded me for an hour over the business.
I asked Hennig several times why the CTF had remained silent over these many years as Stephen Harper has waged an unnecessary wasteful and lethal war against Insite, yet jump in to dismiss Michael Ignatieff's comments on the subject.
Fildebrandt, perhaps, was not privy to Ignatieff's comments, which did not mention setting healthcare policy, and in fact showed respect for the provinces' jurisdiction over healthcare:
This is about harm reduction, and so we strongly support Insite. And as it proves its worth and as other provincial health systems adopt the valuable lessons learned at Insite, we would support its expansion, yes.
But the Canadian Taxpayers Federation wanted to dismiss Ignatieff's comments. I asked Mr. Hennig several times why the CTF refuses to speak out against Harper's shameful war on Insite and received no answer. I asked Mr. Hennig who the CTF's "supporters" are, again no answer. I asked Mr. Hennig if the CTF would draft a letter stating its belief that healthcare falls under provincial jurisdiction and therefore the federal government's Supreme Court battle to shutter Insite is unconstitutional and wasteful of taxpayers' money. He refused. The CTF says that federal leaders should not comment on provincial health policies, and yet tacitly condones by their silence Stephen Harper's jurisdictional interference in BC with regards to Insite. They apply their supposed principles inconsistently, and only when it benefits their ideological allies.
Their "cut taxes at any cost" ideology has infected municipalities across Canada, hobbling municipalities' ability to sustain even the most basic needs of infrastructure. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is a right-wing think-tank without the think and without the tank. When they turn their self-interested eyes toward healthcare, we should all be worried.