Medicare was born in conflict. The notorious Saskatchewan Doctors’ Strike aimed to abort it. That was 50 years ago. This issue of Dimension offers an historical perspective on that birth with an essay by Lorne Brown and Doug Taylor (who are preparing a book on the 50th anniversary of Medicare.) Ulli Diemer exposes “Ten Myths about Medicare,” and health economist Robert Chernomas discusses one of those myths in detail: the controversial sustainability question.
But this issue is about more than Medicare. It’s about the limits of medicine in an ailing and toxic society. Broadcaster and social commentator Jill Eisen writes about poverty and other social determinants of health. David R. Boyd, one of Canada’s leading experts in environmental law and policy, looks at the impact of environmental hazards on human health. Finally, Richard Barnet, himself a medical doctor, reflects on the radical views of Ivan Illich, who saw modern medicine as invading daily life in dangerous and disabling ways.
As the drama of the Québec students’ strike continues, we also address this historic struggle and the efforts of the Charest regime to suppress it in our editorial, “Québec: From Student Strike to Social Upsurge,” as well as in our Rising Youth column and the CD Paragraph.
John Ryan examines the forces involved in the bloody events in Syria in his forceful article about why Canada should not intervene. Historian Henry Heller analyses the political fallout of austerity policies in Europe. Andrea Levy’s column, “Pipeline to Perdition,” and Julie Guard’s article about Harper’s war on the unemployed contribute to CD’s coverage of Stephen Harper’s ongoing assault on Canadian institutions, social policies and regulatory framework.