Saturday, October 24, 2009

Maybe if it were a hockey pandemic it might be different

Now that we see this most unfortunate contrast, "Obama Declares Swine Flu a National Emergency," what do we think we can expect to see in Canada in the coming bet is that the PMO p.r. team is working all weekend to come up with some events over the next week to make Mr. Harper look like he's similarly in charge too. You know, some health event where Harper is in a lab coat, etc.

Yet what's going on out there on the ground?
Every week Ottawa sends out new instructions to hospitals, artfully contradicting whatever came out the week before. Doctors have taken to tacking them up on bulletin boards as ER humor.
Yes, first it's all "vaccine in the first week of November, you betcha." Then it's, "surprise!" Two weeks sooner than that. Yet the testing is post-approval? Quel organization!

Throw in the fact that Liberal opposition critic Kirsty Duncan, pandemic flu expert is out and about engaging with public health workers and the press is following her:
Duncan, an MP recognized as a global flu expert, met with front line public health officials at a meeting Friday in Simcoe, Ont., about 42 kilometres south of Brantford.

The health workers told Duncan that they need more staff and physical resources, and more public education.

Health workers also said they wanted more co-ordination from the federal government.

Duncan told the gathering that the H1N1 flu does not respect provincial and national boundaries.

She said that's why we need a federal government "that will step up to the plate and play a co-ordinating role."
That's the kind of effective contrast thing that will get the PMO's attention.

Remember, the last we heard from the on-top-of-things-Stephen-Harper-Leadership-Prime Minister, just over a week ago on this topic, he was expressing uncertainty about whether or not he'd get vaccinated: "Harper's hedge on H1N1 shot sparks confusion." Stellar contribution to the effort.

Since then, there's been lots of Harper talking up hockey and attending hockey events...not so much H1N1 leadership. Priorities, after all, now seems to be the time to have the PM's attention on leisure activities...