Stealing from Patients

Dunkirk opens with soldiers on a deserted street walking through a snowfall of leaflets. The city is empty.

One man catches a leaflet and flips it over. It’s a map of Dunkirk.



Propaganda works: Hopeless soldiers give up. Emotion plays a role in every fight.

I worry that many doctors cannot process attacks from government anymore. They can think, but they cannot feel.

The feds propose:

  • 73% tax on retirement savings
  • 93% tax on inheritance
  • No income splitting, despite the risk that small businesses put on family members.

These proposals wipe out retirement, savings for children’s education and parental leave.  It makes the extra cost and effort of incorporation a total waste.

Sometimes, governments tell voters something so outrageous, that people lose a frame of reference to check the facts. Small lies spark public protest. Big lies elicit shock but no action.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau painted doctors, and all small, incorporated businesses, as tax cheats, on July 18th.

He said doctors did not pay enough tax.

Salaried workers get to invest in a pension, tax free, and their employer matches contributions, also tax-free. And the pension grows tax free too.

But doctors were still cheaters. Doctors have no pension. Therefore, they invest after-tax dollars inside their corporation for retirement. That makes them cheaters.

Canada was built on the assumption that governments tend to grow, and that they tend to become tyrannical, as they grow and usurp power. Canada is a federation, because we believe that citizens suffer when government has too much power.

Government needs checks and balances. It needs to be divided into multiple levels of government, so that no level of government can become tyrannical. Concentration of power increases the probability of abuse.

Canada was founded on a healthy skepticism about power.

But over 150 years, we have fallen in love with big, powerful governments so that we can accomplish big, wonderful things for society. The founders knew better.

People smirk at the quaint and somewhat histrionic nature of old political writing:

When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.

  • Euripides, Orestes

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

Thomas Jefferson

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch now and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Samuel Adams

Tyranny is the “cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control”.  But tyrants are not thugs. Tyrants usually offer attractive reasons for what they propose.

CS Lewis said, “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”

And Hume said, “The heights of popularity and patriotism are still the beaten road to power and tyranny.

Stealing Time

No one can be anti-doctor and pro-patient. You cannot attack doctors without harming patients.

Attacking docs steals time from patient care. Minister Morneau is stealing time from patient care by making doctors waste days (and days and days and days) responding to government abuse.

This comes after 3 and half years of abuse from the provincial government. Docs in Ontario still do not have a contract.

Thankfully, the province is trying to rebuild a working relationship with doctors. We are cautiously optimistic.

Doctors cannot fight for patients when we spend so much time looking over our shoulder, for the next attack from government.

While we hate doing it, we must speak up early and often. People need 5 communications to hear one message. We must tell the truth no matter how banal or repetitive.

The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt. People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late.

It is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exits.

GK Chesterton

Popular politicians often make big mistakes because they are popular. It does not have to be so.

Please talk to your friends, write to your MP and MPP,  ask government to stop attacking doctors. Ask government to stop attacking all small business owners with this unfair, unbalanced and arbitrary tax grab. Get educated on the issues.

Dunkirk ends with civilians rescuing several hundred thousand soldiers. Despair turns to elation when the hopeless boys see little skiffs and tug boats coming to save them. Let’s hope the current war on small businesses ends soon, too. It might take a civilian army to rescue us.

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9 Replies to “Stealing from Patients”

  1. The tyrannical , repressive, egalitarian social justice warriors have overtaken the government and have penetrated many of our own representative groups such as the CMA / CMAJ….distributive justice , corrective justice demands that the ” greedy wealthy” medical professionals be levelled.

    The process of attacking the medical profession is well under way, in particular of the older members who worked hard over the decades and , being pensionless, saved their pennies so that they could retire with a certain amount of dignity will find their savings attacked.

    God help the medical profession and their patients, because the government and the health care bureaucracy that retire on fat pensions over a decade before MDs do , do not care in the least and even relish the prospect of levelling the medical profession, such being the extent of their hostility.

    Primary care physicians are cooked, primary care itself is cooked, with the pending ” improvements” it will be reduced to rubble aided by the CMA with its SJWs “broader view of health care”.

  2. Whatever we do seems to be ignored by the Lib governments, provincial or federal. I personally wrote 3 letters to all 3 of London MPs: not a single response/even acknowledgement of the letters received.
    We are going into BA, but in a view of the coming tax losses, the peanuts which we can possibly get would weight little: doctors actual income fell ~33% vs 2011: they will never give it back to us, with no BA, and BA will not affect the Fed legislation.
    Unionization is the biggest elephant in the room: somehow neither you Shawn nor Dr Shaver (another OMA insider & active advocate against the incorporation tax robbery) clearly mention/discuss it in your publications – ?

    1. Wow. I sure hope you hear back from at least one of them.

      We cannot unionize without changing the Labour Relations Act: Docs are excluded from unionizing. This is a dire spot for us if Morneau gets his way….will be worse for patients in the long run.

  3. By what we read. Pensions, benefits and defined work hours are very attractive. As a family physician I would relish 35 hours per week, paid vacation and a pension at 55. Ontario physicians should demand a option to transition to unionized government employees. We already are. So much wasted energy from being attacked from so many sides would disappear.
    The government would panic if this became a non negotiable demand from all front line docs. They would need twice as many physicians. The general public backlash against the government saying no, would be a tsunami.

    1. Exactly!

      There’s no way they pay for all of us to be on salary. Maybe they would stop attacking us if we started demanding salaries.

  4. Hey Shawn,

    Any consideration to the OMA hosting a job fair with out-of-country hospitals? If a considerable number of physicians attended, might generate media attention to work towards patient and physician interests.


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