Maybe the LHIN CEO was referring to Grease, the musical

Bill MacLeod told an Insight conference last week that the deficit was Ontario’s burning platform, that the province was “this close” to being Greece. Generally speaking, it’s a bit more complicated to compare provinces to nations, but the CEO of the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network may be more than just a little off in his comparison. In common parlance, you might call that remark a “whopper.”

The hysteria about deficits also applies to the Harper government, which is cutting services as if we were already Greece. That includes recent news of the termination of Statistics Canada’s Health Survey. Chop chop – who needs to know about the population health status of Canadians anyway? Heck, it’s only about effective planning.

Is our economic situation really that bad?

Money may be tight following the Ponzi schemes the financial services industry used to crash the world economy in 2008, but as far as borrowers go, Canada is actually in an enviable spot.

The September edition of the U.S. Institutional Investor magazine ranks countries by their credit rating. On the top of the 179 country list are such social democratic bastions as Norway and Sweden. Fourth on the list is Canada.

That’s right, our credit rating is fourth out of 179 countries. The U.S. is 10th. The UK is 14th. Germany, which is a big lender to Greece, comes in at 9th. Oh, and Greece, their credit rating places them in the 156th spot, just above countries like Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia.

Fourth versus 156th.

The concept of a burning platform is to create a situation to force people to make a change.

The truth is Canadians are not standing on a burning platform. We are not Greece. We’re not even close to being Greece.

When Bill MacLeod says we are, you know he has another agenda to spur us into accepting decisions we may not like. Is this about democratic decision-making, or blatant manipulation?

You decide.

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