I have much more to say about the “illness industry”, fee-for-service as a flawed model for health care and the growing but not surprising unsustainable expenditures in health care in Canada and the western world. I have a lot to say about the many issues facing the world today however, yesterday morning I happened to find a Globe and Mail just sitting there at the table I sat at for my morning coffee. So I had a quick read through it. There were so many news stories that I wanted to write about that I was feeling a bit distracted from the illness industry theme. Having said that there was some information about the new Health Accord for 2014 now being developed in Canada by guess who: physicians and nurses. That is worth a post or two. News stories that jumped out at me for consideration and comment included:
Bullying and teen suicide in Canada
The Attawapiskat crisis and the Federal Government’s pathetic response
The right to die issue and one woman’s personal quest
Climate action and Harper’s denial of the value of a carbon tax
London, UK’s public sector strike
Central bank’s attempt at economic rescue of Europe
And on and on it went. There was so much in that newspaper that had my mind bursting with ideas and my fingers itching for either my pencil or a computer keyboard whichever I could get to first. What a lot to choose from! What would I focus on for Friday’s post? If I ever need an idea of what to write about I would just have to find a newspaper hanging around and I would be off to the races.
I have concerns about the planet and the functioning of society; our need to be more compassionate and consider our choices and how they impact others; the value of sharing with others and reducing the inequities of the world. Idealistic I know but those are the things that I care about. My dilemma about what to focus on was solved when I turned to the next page of the paper.
There it was the story that showed me that the world was now in good hands and that there was nothing to worry about. A major problem had been solved and every day many people would reap the benefits.
I will not keep you in suspense any longer. The good news is that Park Royal Mall (a larger shopping mall with close to 300 stores and all the ones that we see everywhere in North America) in West Vancouver will be the first mall in Canada to initiate a parking guide radio station to help frustrated shoppers to quickly find a place to park so they can get to the mall with limited stress. Instead of having to drive around the massive parking lots with spaces for 6,000 cars shoppers will only have to dial into 92.5 FM when at the mall to get suggestions about where to park. Wow! Is this not what we have been missing?
Now that is not all. The mall will also offer a 7-day –a-week valet service as a supplement for those who find that the helpful radio station is not quite enough. Wait there is more! They will also pay for the police to monitor and direct traffic on the main arteries near the mall up until Christmas Day.
I am not sure what you think but I think this is well worth the $100,000 that the mall is putting into this initiative. Helping frenzied shoppers during the stressful Christmas shopping season is admirable. Helping them cope with traffic snarls so they can get all their shopping done and have a bountiful Christmas morning without having to deal with the added stress of parking and getting to and from the mall with jams is well worth it.
Hey I just had a thought! What if the $100,000 that the mall has available to fritter away on parking stresses could be used in another way? Maybe the mall administration could step in and lend a hand to the “cash strapped?” Federal Government in their feeble efforts to help (?) the stressed families in Attawapiskat? With help maybe the Federal Government could take the time and effort to have an honest look at what the real issues are. Maybe they could acknowledge their responsibility for the issues and give the First Nations peoples of Canada the respect they deserve and stop focusing on money and their dysfunctional relationship with the leaders they have enticed into the white man’s questionable way of doing business. Hey, then maybe the Red Cross would not have to raise funds to be able to take more sleeping bags up to northern Ontario (that’s in Canada you know) to keep people from freezing without adequate housing?
It is a funny mixed up world where attending to and addressing parking stress trumps housing and the life and death of a community, a culture and a people. It’s a little out of focus, you think?
Irene McDermott © 2011