Thursday, April 30, 2009

WRHA denies report of swine flu at city hospital

Just as we prepared to go to air, a listener called in and reported that the emergency room hallway at St Boniface Hospital was being sealed off. The hospital employee told us they were informed it was due to a confirmed case of H1N1 influenza A "swine flu".

As a result of our inquiry for confirmation, Heidi Graham from the WHRA told Shannah-Lee the emergency room hallway is sealed off because of construction. She said there are no confirmed cases of swine flu in the province.

Harry Lehotsky's health care system concerns are still valid today

Today is the anniversary of a very significant piece of first-person journalism in Winnipeg.

It was about the Manitoba health care system.

It was pointedly critical of the health care mandarins and their "system".

It was about wait times - waiting for a family doctors' appointment, waiting in a crowded, understaffed Urgent Care room, waiting for radiological tests. It was about the choice between paying out of pocket to leave the province to speed up the diagnosis -- or being in constant pain.

It was about a man who didn't yet realize, he was already dying of terminal cancer.

It was about the beginning of the end, of the life of Rev. Harry Lehotsky.

His column was in the Winnipeg Sun, 3 years ago today.
There does not appear to be a link available to the column. In the public interest, and in his memory, the April 30, 2006 column of Harry Lehotsky is being reprinted below.

In light of last weeks wait time report results, the horror stories of Brian Sinclair, Gail Glesby, the woman mis-carrying and forced to speed from the Concordia to Grace Hospital one night to save her own life, and other cases, Lehotsky's experience and observations are very relevant today- and raise a lot of questions. Starting with, how much better off are we after 3 years of 'planful transparent' leadership by the health ministry, WRHA, and their expert consultants?

Sun, April 30, 2006
Free medicare nice, if you can get it
By Harry Lehotsky

Recently, I've been getting urged to go back to the US.

I'm not talking about the recalcitrant drug dealers or social worker mafia that would love to see me leave. I take their disapproval as a validation of my message.

The people encouraging me to leave are people on both sides of the border who care for my well-being.
Several months ago I felt some occasional upper abdominal discomfort. About two months ago it turned into occasional abdominal pain. About two weeks ago it was a steady pain that sometimes got so severe I couldn't stand for long.

Figure it'll blow over

I'm the type of guy who tends to figure things will blow over. Usually aches and pains go away by themselves with a little rest or attention to diet or over-the-counter meds. But this time it wasn't going away. I've had heartburn often enough to know this was different.

I tried to make an appointment with my family physician and was told I'd likely have to wait months -- even after saying I was in pain. My doc is a great person and excellent physician. Maybe that's precisely why he's booked so well in advance and so far beyond capacity.

Someone in his office suggested I go to Urgent Care. I stopped by there one day and saw roughly 20 people in the waiting room with one physician on duty.

After hearing my wait could be over 12 hours, I left. I thought I'll wait until I can be treated a little more like an urgent case.

Finally, on Easter Saturday, the pain was so bad I returned. After six hours the doctor said he wasn't sure what was causing the pain. I would have to be referred for further tests. The preference was to assume it's an ulcer until we knew different. He prescribed some strong antacids. He also told me I would be getting an appointment for a barium X-ray and an appointment with a gastroenterologist.

He added, "If you see blood, however, come back right away."

I was astounded when informed my first appointment with a gastroenterologist would be in November.

That's not the scope, that's just a first visit with the doctor!

I got angry when I got a letter saying my barium X-ray wouldn't be until September.

Five months for a general diagnostic X-ray? Seven months for a consultation to schedule a gastroscope?
The prospect of waiting in pain didn't excite me.

I went to another doctor. She prescribed a proton pump inhibitor that wasn't covered by my insurance.

I started thinking,
"What if -- in five to seven months -- I find out it wasn't an ulcer?

Whatever it was would certainly have gotten much worse -- perhaps even inoperable by that point.

For now, I'll resist paranoia. I'm still assuming I'll get better. I don't want to change my schedule, both because there's too much to do and it keeps my mind occupied on positive things.

Even when the pain is bad, I know others have it worse. If it's just an ulcer, I know people who suffer daily with more serious problems.

Friends and family started finding out about my situation. Responses mirrored my own feelings -- everything from shock to disgust that I was paying for medical care not available to me.

One by one, they suggested, "Go to the States. You can get in quicker there for the tests."

Part of me wants to stay and fight for what I've paid for here. But the pain and the concern of others may override any "point" I want to make with the system.

Yesterday, a pastor friend of mine was visiting from North Dakota. Hearing my plight, he commented, "I know a great gastroenterologist. I'll give him a call." A short while later, I was talking to a doctor in North Dakota. After reviewing my symptoms and the schedule he said might be able to take me next week for both a gastroscope and a CAT scan, just in case the scope isn't conclusive.

Now I'm wondering if Manitoba Health will cover any of the cost. Cynicism would suggest that if they're delaying getting the most important diagnostic tests, they'll likely try to duck paying any of the bill if I go south.

What am I paying for?

So what exactly am I paying for here?

As I write this, I haven't eaten a thing for three days. Before that, I ate just one or two small meals a day. Apart from the fact I don't really feel hungry, it seems to hurt less when I don't eat.

While the WRHA bureaucracy swallows more and more resources, people wait longer and longer for even basic diagnostic tests that could reduce long-term costs as problems fester during long delays.

Maybe I'll become another poster child for NDP health care "improvements."

Seven years ago they promised to end hallway medicine in six months.

Not only has that not happened, but now it's worse.

It seems part of this government's strategy on getting people out of hospital hallways is to leave them on the street in pain.

Rev. Harry Lehotsky is a Sunday Sun columnist and a founding member of New Life Ministries on Maryland Street.


Jim Jaworski of for ysterday's interview explaining his scepticism of Coun. Russ Wyatt's 'trolley folly', and to CTV's Kelly Dehn for updating the feasability of a STARS emergency helicopter in Winnipeg. To comment about the following stories we'll be covering today, email .

- public backlash against AMC Chief Ron Evan's reaction to the Pope's apology;
- reports of a FN community opposing the AMC's Governance House plan;
- the inadequate sentences handed down against two men who drunkenly and viciously assaulted peace officers but were not convicted of it;
- the YCJA compromising the ability of a judge to keep a murderous young offender locked up;
- what the public really thinks about the renewal plan for Central Park;
- City Councillors expenses: Who is Spending on What ??
- and a Stanley Cup playoff update brought to you by Harv-Al Sportswear, 1330 Main St., phone 586-8036

upcoming episodes:
Friday at 4.25 PM- Colin Craig of the Taxpayers Federation about having to file a Freedom of Information request to get the council expense accounts records, and what his organization thinks about some of the things we are paying for;

Sunday at 7 PM - Replays of 5 recent episodes of TGCTS, till 2.30 AM

Monday at 5.20 PM- Frank the Italian Barber opines on the Stanley Cup semi-finals

Tuesday at 4.10 PM - Councillor Jeff Browaty with the Disraeli update, 311 developments, construction season and speed traps, and dissatisfaction with the Winnipeg Parking Authority.

Wed at 4.10 - Kelly Dehn of CTV with his Crimewatch Report, and at 5.15 Soccer Spotlight with Rocky Moudgill of the Winnipeg Youth Soccer Association.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Behind the NDP's MRI wait time debacle; plus more listener comments on ER's, nursing, and health care

As solely reported on this blog and on 92.9 Kick-FM last week,
Manitoba stands alone in Canada as the ONLY place where wait times for MRI's is trending LONGER - more than doubling from an average maximum wait time of 54 days in 2006, to 91 days in 2008.

After downplaying the true depth of the march backwards for MRI patients (and misrepresenting the failure of the NDP to meet the 6 month benchmark for 75% of knee replacement surgeries), teachers' pet -- er, the Winnipeg Free Press, ran to get the official spin, without a word from the opposition or any analysis:

Health Minister Theresa Oswald said the number of MRI tests being ordered has jumped dramatically since family physicians became able to order them.

She said the province has extended hours for MRI scans and increased available overtime to manage the increased load. "We've plateaued and (the wait) is coming down."

Only TGCTS has gotten the view of insiders to explain the real reasons how and why the government has failed Manitobans yet again when it comes to their health services.

Two city doctors, from different hospitals, emailed us their perspectives:

"Hello Marty,

I heard this part of your show yesterday, and i was hoping to talk to you about some of the results of the study and the article that you cited.

Now you may not be aware of this, but i hate passionately the NDP government for so many reasons, but their dishonesty and many attempts to mislead, misguide and lie to Manitobans is criminal. Furthermore i see the WRHA as a political monster which needs to be disassembled and rebuilt to a much smaller, more efficient, less political and more strategic version of itself.

Having said all that, I have to support Ms. Oswald's claim. A province full of family physicians who heretofore have not used MRI, and may not be fully aware of its appropriate use and limitations suddenly had access to its diagnostic abilities.

Although i do not know this for a certainty, i am guessing that many imaging studies that could have been foregone; ligament strain in various joints, disc herniation, abdominal pain - that may have reliably been diagnosed with CT, U/S, and colonoscopy, etc. - had been acquired by family physicians too eager to use this new "toy".

This is not to say that we do not know what we are doing, or that these studies were not necessary, however we do not know if any useful data was added by the increased use of the MRI. So it is quite reasonble to have expected the wait time for MRI to increase.

In the meantime, it is not enough to simply have access to MRI, but we also need radiologists to read the studies. This is another resource that is profoundly lacking in this great province of ours.

With regards to wait times for hips and knees - again i must point the finger inwards at us as family physicians. Some of us are so lax as to send surgeons consult letters stating "knee pain, please assess". I believe we do have enough orthopedic surgeons to dramatically cut waiting times, if they get more "convertable" cases - i.e. consults that proceed to surgery - relative to the overall number of consults.

The WRHA actually does have a program in place to address the wait times in Manitoba for which i am hoping to provide input called "Bridging Specialist and Generalist Care" which i am more than happy to discuss with you.

Regards, Dr X "

and in response, an analysis from the other doctor:

" The basic claims in this letter regarding MRI are correct. The increase in MRI wait times is largely artificial, related to the relatively new abilility of general practitioners to request these studies. The number of requests has skyrocketed, whereas the number of MRI scanners, the hours that they operated and the number of radiologists to interpret the studies have remained relatively static.

Hence, increased wait times.

I really don't know who decided to let GP's order MRI's. But the ability of GP's to order MRI's is the norm in most other provinces as far as I know.

Dr XX "

Then a listener saw thru the NDP spin:

"In other words, when you compare apples to apples, we're still behind the set goal. So all this time the NDP has been misleading people about how great our MRI wait times are, compared to other provinces, knowing all along that this was only because they (Manitoba NDP) restricted who could order an MRI.

The doctors say there's no "data" that people are getting better diagnoses because now their family doc has MRI information. That's not the point. The people are paying for MRI's, they want MRI's and they should be able to get MRIs, whether its through the public system or through a private clinic. Times have changed from the socialist days of Howard Pawley. "

Meanwhile, we had told the story of a 5 year old girl, taken to the Seven Oaks emergency ward at 1 AM suffering from an internal infection. Her father was told it would be hours before she could be treated, and he had to hustle her out a backdoor to avoid the undignified antics of drunken louts who had been hauled into the ER by police.

The father got a surprise call after we told his story:

"Wasn't I surprised if not shocked to recieve a call today from Dr. Ricardo Lobato de Faria and as he identified himself as the head of Seven Oaks Hospital! Or as he began, "I understand you had an incident one night last week at the Seven Oaks Hospital, well, I run the place!"

He spoke of how what he had heard had occured that evening with my daughter and I and appeared to be alarmed with what he heard.

He mentioned he was saddened to hear about my daughter and I getting the runaround and commented on how I had to shield my daughter from the drunks the police were brining in! He was extrememly well versed on my dilemma, considering I had not contacted them myself on this incident! He seemed to be greatly dissapointed to hear how the tri-age nurse didn't at least give me some kind of assessment for my daughter at the VERY least and felt further investigation would be needed.

I also told him about the security guard who escorted us through the hospital who made the comment to me about, "Yeah, sometimes we get people here that don't really need to be here" and asked, "was he talking about he drunks speciffically?" to which I responded, "No, I took it as an in-general type of comment."

Well, he did not appreciate hearing that and said the guard should NEVER had said that and it was an unprofessional comment to make!

The doctor also told me he will be following up with the tri-age nurse on duty that evening and how besides not even assessing my daughter, she should have given me an actual time-line to when my daughter could have gotten in, if not make an actual follow-up appointment first thing in the morning!

He asked how my daughter was doing and I told him fortunately, she was fine. I had repeated to him her symptoms, (high fever, body aches, chills, sweats, no bathroom trips in the prior 24 hours) and was pleased to hear I was able to get her into her pediatrician the next day.

We discussed briefly the one doctor on staff overnight and he stated that this happens in most Winnipeg hospitals on most nights! No apology there, just stated matter-of-factly.

He then assured me there will be a follow-up with the staff on duty that evening and I would also recieve an official apology in writing soon as well. In that letter to come, he mentioned any suggestions or comments I'd like to make could be added and resubmitted back to him as well.

Throughout the entire conversation, I found Doctor Lobata de Faria to be very professional, and gentlemanly. And I did thank him and told him I appreciated the fact he called. And I do.

By the way, great work Marty! Make sure you let the people know the only way I would have gotten that phone call was because of The Great Canadian Talk Show! Thank-You For that!

P.S. You have my vote to be President of Aurtarlia!"

On the show we also mentioned this father has a friend, a nurse who wants to return home from the US and work locally.

She could not get a call back from one hospital that is advertising vacancies no matter how many messages she left with the HR person; this at the same time Minister Oswald was forced to admit to the Free Press that the province is in fact short at least 700 'new' nursing positions (the Tories claim it is 1300 in total).

"Oswald said her government has increased the number of front-line health-care positions in Manitoba by 3,400 since 2000 and filled about 80 per cent of them."

The nurse got ahold of her friend and he sent this along :

After I sent the link to Marty's show to some friends of mine in Winnipeg these are a couple of the responses I got....

"That's embarrassing that you didn't even get a call back. The whole province is begging for nurses and one of our own is coming back with a world of experience, and they don't even pursue you? What a Gong Show.

I knew when you said you were thinking about xxxx it wasn't really a great idea. It's up to you, and a job's a job, but, I'd stay away from the community hospitals. 7 Oaks has the nickname of 7 Jokes. It's fine for day surgeries, Geriatrics and placement medicine patients, but that's about it. You are too worldly to deal with that. HSC and St. Boniface are the two big centres. St. B, is were the "hearts" go, and HSC is for the Traumas. I can't say that any hospital is perfect, but what centre can say that anyway. At the end of the day, if I was sick, I'd go to HSC. That's the bottom line I guess."


"I don't find this entire situation as shocking as I should, unfortunately. The amount of incompetence in the world today is beyond belief. Especially in the health care system.

When my mom was ill for so long, I logged a lot of hours in the ER and in the wards, and I was always amazed by the care she received, and never in a good way. If she ever got a good nurse or a doctor that didn't need a week to get with the program we were shocked. They could never figure out how to deal with more than one problem at a time, like get her heart problems fixed up, without letting the ulcer on her foot (that family and I and numerous home care nurses were keeping under control and dressing twice daily) be completely ignored.

Sometimes it went for more than a day and a half (with us asking) for them to change it, and I've seen them let it be unbandaged and exposed, or leaking through the dressing, and having her have to walk without anything protecting it to the washroom. YOU know what hospital floors are. One of us practically stayed with her all of the time, because if you don't have an advocate, someone who is willing (reluctantly) to be demanding, and sometimes a bitch, you're done. But you'd have to be careful to kiss everyone's ass at the same time, because for sure there could be retaliation, and when she was alone, she was at their mercy.

My mom hated confrontation, and so she was an easy target for cruelty and callousness (yes, the health system has more than its share of sadists!). She had scar tissue in the crook of one of her arms from a botched angiogram, and drawing blood from there was nearly impossible and absolutely excruciating. I can't count how many times nurses and technicians insisted, absolutely insisted, on poking there despite being told not to, just because they could. They either didn't believe us, or just didn't care, or wanted to cause someone pain, or just wanted to be proven right. One even lied to my mom, and said that he wasn't going to, he just wanted to look, and then jabbed anyways. Unbelievable.

That said, I saw how all of the nurses were overworked and overwhelmed and powerless in a system that gave doctors all of the power, even for common sense things, and how often their hands were tied and they were doing their best. But it was obvious how some nurses were just in it for the power, and really couldn't give a shit about the person they were treating, they just wanted to be the boss. You know what they say though, that shit runs downhill, and I'm sure some of them were mirroring how they were treated by doctors and the system. But that's only half of the problem.

The ER is constantly being clogged up by people that have no business being there. People who don't want to take time off work to go to their own doctor, or a walk in clinic or people who are just plain stupid. Once I took my daughter screaming in agony to the Children's ER, because she had a sudden and agonizing belly ache. The place was jammed, and instead of waiting quietly for their turn, people kept going up to the triage nurse and asking when it would be their turn, as if they were in a doctor's office with an appointment.

Meanwhile, kids were coming in on stretchers by ambulance in really bad shape, and the doctors and nurses had their hands full. But most of the kids in the waiting room were playing and laughing and their parents were visiting, etc. It looked for the most part like a pediatricians office on a regular day. Some kids, like ours were obviously ill and unhappy, but most of the others looked like they had colds or whatever.

A nurse came on the intercom a couple of times to ask that people stop coming to the desk asking about the wait, that it was very busy, and it was on a need-to-be-seen basis. Finally a male doctor came on and started yelling about how everyone needed to stop bothering the nurses, and that they were seeing some very sick children, and that regardless of what everyone in the room was waiting to be seen for, the wait would likely be several hours at least. Good for him! But did that ever clear out the waiting room. Everyone whose kid had a cold or sore ear got up and left, just like that. Those of us who really needed to be there waited.

Another time, my daughter tripped on the stairs and I took her because her ankle immediately swelled up, and it looked like it might be something. While we waited, and we were prepared to wait, since it was only her ankle, and this is after all Manitoba, a mother and her mother arrived with a baby, who was sick. Apparently, this baby had been to the doctor that afternoon, and been given antibiotics for an ear infection, and the mother was upset that the baby wasn't better yet. The triage nurse was frustrated, because you could hear her tell the woman that it had only been 4 or so hours after the first dose, and that it would take up to 48 hours, but what could she do? Isn't there a policy that they can't turn people away if they want to be seen?

It's a nightmare everywhere you look. Not enough doctors, not enough nurses, incompetent doctors and nurses, uncaring doctors and nurses, not enough diagnostics, equipment, and resources. Nurses and doctors who are burned out because they are working too many hours. Uneducated patients, not enough doctors who will take on new patients, or doctors who have so many patients, that sick patients can't get in to be seen. Even walk in clinics are cutting their hours if they can't be staffed.

My daughter's ankle was a non emergency, but where do you go when something like that happens outside of office hours? For sure not to the Misericordia, the Urgent Care facility, since they only have one doctor on staff, and I know of at least 2 people who had broken bones casted there, and it was done wrong, after waiting for more than 8 hours. So my daughter turned 16 in an emergency room, but at least when she came out in her cast and crutches,(just a bad sprain, thank goodness), I knew she was OK."

The prodigal nurse added:
Another friend whose e-mail I accidently deleted also referred to Seven Oaks as 7 Jokes and said that her step Dad was taken there when he was sick, misdiagnossed, shuffled around, lost, then finally transferred to HSC where he died as help came too late.


Around and about...

Check out this story about our good friend Kenny Omega, making an impact with Ring of Honor as they tour wrestling venues around the continent:


One of the best local bands playing the club circuit is fronted by a dear old friend, Shandra Levreault. She can belt out anything from the Beatles to Shania with style and soul. And she's funny as hell too.

Slow Motion Walter are playing May 8th and 9th at the Royal George in Transcona.


Another TGCTS favorite, David Richert, continues to make his mark in the world of racing:

Winnipegger Learns from Daytona 500 WinnerAlton, Virginia
The opening two rounds of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup took place this weekend at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in Alton, Virginia.

Winnipeg race car driver, David Richert, was competitive all weekend finishing 14th in Race 1 and 15th in Race 2. Richert was also able to continue his streak of bringing the Jetta TDI Cup car home in one piece. “It’s difficult driving in conditions where you know that even a small dent on your car means you may not make the next race” he says, “but hopefully we’ll take care of business and find another group to join Rainbow Trailers and Wallace & Wallace Fences. Then we can start contesting for race wins and bring a trophy back to everyone in Winnipeg”.

2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton was on hand for the festivities as was ex-Formula 1 driver turned TV commentator Derek Daly. Both were asked to share their vast amount of knowledge with the group of young Jetta TDI Cup drivers. Ward’s son Jeb Burton was entered in the race as a guest driver and finished 24th. Also seen rubbing shoulders with Jetta TDI Cup drivers was former Indianapolis 500 Champion and racing legend Bobby Rahal, who currently owns a race team together with late night talk show host David Letterman.

Also worth noting is that Richert was able to complete every minute of both races this weekend, meaning that $1,200 will be donated to Samaritan’s Purse for the purchase of 12 BioSand Water Filter units. These water filters will be constructed in homes around the world where inhabitants do not have access to clean water for their daily needs.

David Richert is 26 years old and hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. From a group of 3,900 race car drivers, Richert earned a spot racing for Volkswagen in the 2009 Jetta TDI Cup where the series champion goes home with $100,000. Partners of David Richert Racing include Rainbow Trailers, Wallace & Wallace Fences, Winnipeg Free Press, Onext Media, Sunrize Group and Creative Printall.

For additional comment or information, please contact David Richert Racing at 204-371-8700, or by email at

and finally, we'll give you a months' notice for this great event,
"Family Day of Magic" on Sunday, May 24.
Two shows at 1 and 3.30 PM.
Hosted by Magic Club of Winnipeg
Winnipeg Art Gallery - Muriel Richardson Auditorium
Tickets are $5, at the door or in advance.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Manitoba flunks national wait time test for MRI's, closes in on knee replacement target

A quick overview of
The Canadian Institute for Health Information "Wait times tables, a comparison by Province, 2009",

Wait times as reported by Canadian provinces for the period April-December 2008 -- note that trends are based on 3 year averages where suitably measured data is available

* Page 3- Summary Table 1
Overall benchmark performances in the 7 categories based on 182 day/26 week target
- Manitoba fails to reach benchmark of 75% in knee replacements within 26 weeks; this refers to Page 7/table 5, where the exact figure is 71%.

* Page 4 Summary Table 3
Provincial wait time trends for the 7 procedures that have benchmark targets
- Manitoba is the only province where wait time for MRI's increased
- Manitoba and Ontario do not track coronary artery bypass surgery recovery times
( Note: the data for Manitoba cataract waits is blank - not shaded, no arrow. It is blank. So who knows what it means?)

* Page 6 Table 4
Wait times for hip replacements (in Manitoba definition fo the procedure includes smoothing)
- 80% of Manitoba are seen by benchmark of 182 days/26 weeks, above the national median, and trending down

* Page 7/Table 5
Knee replacement
- Manitoba achieved only 71% of benchmark target of 75% within 182 days/26 weeks

* Page 9/Table 7
Coronary bypass wait time
- Manitoba is at 96% of benchmark, but the
only provinces doing worse are BC, NB and NL

* Page 20/Table A6
Provincial MRI wait time trends (for Manitoba, defined as 'estimated maximum wait times")
Dec 06 56 days
Dec 07 42 days
Dec 08 91 days
- Manitobans' wait time for MRI's has more than doubled in the past year.
(Note this area seems a bit of a mess nationally except for Alberta and NS , with some provinces not reporting at all, and others having huge waits of over 100 days because of different definitions of "wait", and other factors.)
Today at 4 PM,
- Our analysis and your calls about the wait time report, and the nursing shortage;
- Spirited Kenny will have some new insight into the 511 system and about a weather event that precipitated his investigation which sparked action by bureaucrats and politicians to act on the file;
- more about CBC's As It Happens broadcast this past Tuesday (Yom Hashoa/Holocaust Memorial Day) that glorified the virtue of Nazi Germany's obsession with breeding extinct cattle; and
- At 5.20 PM, Jon Waldman of Slam!Sports updates us on the Stanley Cup playoffs and answers the question, why does San Jose even bother trying to win the Conference and get into the playoffs if they're going to play so lousy?
Next Monday at 4 PM, Mayor Sam Katz appears for the first hour.
and ... Hail Aurtarlia !
(On a personal note, today is the 15th anniversary of the inaugural Rough House Rasslin' theatresport production, a venture that eventually led to the freeing of 'performance wrestling' in Manitoba from the oversight of the white-out wielding, incompetent, and corrupt Boxing Commission of that long-ago era. Always produced in association with the Osborne Village Inn, most notably as part of the Canada Day Festival in the Village, RHR also originated the NIMBY campaign against dangerous backyard wrestling with the support of the Manitoba Safety Council.
The events have always been a source of deep pride for those involved. On behalf of myself and Chi Chi Cruz, our deepest thanks to the many fans of the shows for your support over the years, and for your support of Canadian professional wrestling.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Listeners comment on HSC and Seven Oaks ER's, Two tier medicine, Superbugs, manufactured news, Tim Horton's camp "story", crime, and a happy note

A round-up of recent emails:


(This is the link for the Gail Glesby facebook group )

"My name is Angie, I'm Ashley's Dad's girlfriend.
Thank you Marty an awesome job. As you told Gails story I sat in my chair and almost relived it. Thank you for giving them a voice, someone finally listens, I know how much this means to Ashley and Dylon, the way Gail was treated left by the staff of HSC to died without dignity or respect.

I hope that you will continue to bring stories such as these to the attention of those who can change they way things are done so that no other family has to ever deal with this type of behavior again.
Thank you Oh so much."

"Re: Sun picks up our Glesby exclusive, the headline must have made WRHA's weekend

What would we do without you Marty? That was such an awesome couple of shows and my heart goes out to the family and I hope something will eventually come of this. M"

Seven Oaks Hospital Emergency overnight staff shortage?

I am fed up with this so-called health care system of ours! When I have to take in my 5 year old daughter into Seven Oaks hospital at 1:30 a.m. cuase she has not gone to the bathromm in over a day, has a high fever, has bodyaches and the chills, (suspected urinary infection), and I get told by the nurse at the desk, "you'll have to wait several hours as we only have one doctor on duty tonight", with a tired, sarcastic look in her eyes as she says it, makes me ill!!!!!!!!!! But apparently if you are are drunk and bloodied bar fighter that the police are hauling in at the same time, it's "C'mon In!!!!"!!!

As I have to shield my daughter's eyes from these screaming morons cause I don't want her to see this! Then a kindly security guard walks us out through the hospital through a short-cut to get back to my truck and turns to me and says, "yeah, we get a lot of people that don't need to be here..."

Then when I do load my daughter back into the truck, she says to me, "Daddy, why is there only one doctor working." Made me want to cry.

I got her into her pediatrician this afternoon and she seems to be doing okay in the meantime.

Marty, I swear man, I WANT TWO TIER HEALTHCARE!!!!! I will pay whatever it takes to have my children cared for ASAP, but I can't. I have to be as helpless as her. These bar bozo's did their own, self-inflicted damage! Who cares!!!!!!! They belong in the tank anyway.

Talking to other friends of mine with small kids, they have had similar situations at other Winnipeg hospitals! Why the Hell aren't our children priority??? If they have a a child little cough and your dealing with an over-reacting parent, okay, I get that. But dammit, why is there only one doctor, (or in some cases, no doctors available overnight?!?!?!?

The government treats us by class, by income, and tax and treat usall differently, but when it comes to healthcare, we're ALL in the same boat buddy! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!?!?!?!

Times change man, it's time for us to get with the program. Litterally! I want options dammit!

Thanks for hearing my rant.

Former NDP cabinet minister Sam Uskiw suing province for colonscopy rationing

" Faced with a critical illness myself, I was asked to wait for 10 months for an endoscopic ultrasound (a surgeon does this procedure unlike a standard ultrasound).

Apparently we only have one or two surgeons in the province who do this.

The Mayo Clinic is a short drive away and in 2 days did a full diagnostic and saved my life. Canadians have a 2nd tier ...its called the USA.

Bravo to the lawsuit. It should be a class-action suit. D"

" Marty

I am really tired about people claiming we only have one tier health care. Unless you have insurance through your work, you still have to pay for "vision" and "dental, and other things, like physio, among other things. Even people with the benifit packages at work, there is a deductable. So we DO have 2 tier health care in this province, plain and simple.

G "

Superbugs in Winnipeg Hospitals

"Hello Marty,

For what my opinion is worth, Dr. Embil is one of the most respected physicians in Winnipeg. He works tirelessly for his patients, he takes call - even if he's not technically "on call", he has a mind like a trap, and he treats people very well. The man is a world renowned academic, and he writes frequently and is published in medical journals. Also he is right. Hospitals work quite hard to contain any perceived outbreak.

There is a bit of a problem with this, in that it becomes much more onerous for loved ones and healthcare staff to care for a patient who is considered infected and quarentined as the patient is in isolation and staff are required to gown, glove and mask before entering the room, which has dedicated equipment down to the stethascope. The problem too is that some staff - i am sure physicians included, but particularly healthcare aides and family members often do not feel that they need to follow these precautions and do not wash their hands frequently enough.

The thing about these "superbugs" is that often MRSA is floating around in the community (you yourself are carrying billions of its close cousin Staph Aureus on your skin 24/7). People are colonized with MRSA, however not infected with it, and often it is quite tricky to know who to treat and how to best do it. These people visit their loved ones in the hospital, and next thing you know we have an "outbreak of a superbug".
Hope this is useful,

Dr X"

" I like the idea of a public warning in principle, however the possible ramifications (pros and cons) of this policy should be well debated. For example, will we see people forgo attending the Seven Oaks when an outbreak is present and attend another hospital - the Grace or Concordia.

In this event we might have higher than anticipated attendance at the latter hospitals with an unwarranted lack of attendance at the former. Or would someone forgo attending the ER despite a serious issue when a warning is present simply to avoid potential infection?

On the other hand, benefits of posted warnings would have family members think twice before simply "dumping" their elderly relative at the front door.

In the meantime, i do agree - we must do more to wash our hands, and if the kids are ill, keep them from grandma's hospital room for a few days.
Dr XX"
Manufactured news

"Here is an idea for you if and when you get your chance to guest star in the Excuse Me? commentary on CJOB

I noticed in Sunday's Free Press, I think on page A8, they devoted a whole entire color page to entries from children on drawing our new provincial flag. I think you are even encouraged to send in a vote on which one you think is the best.


Are the editors at the Free Press that dillusional to think that this is actually going to happen? This was a one off policy thrown out at an annual NDP conference, which really got no support to run on. I remember when this hit the news, Richard Cloutier devoted some time on his show for this, I'm sure you did also. Many callers called in asking why he was even wasting air time on this issue. His anwer - sometimes you have to put the absurd ideas out there so the creators of these ideas can see just how far off base they are.

Secondly, however cute it is to see children send in their entires on what they think a new flag should look like, is the Free Press that out in left field that they really think the Province will use a child's rendering as our new flag. Do they not realize that if the Province ever did decide to go ahead with this debacle, they would spend millions of dollars doing research, studies, focus groups, marketing firms, etc. before they came up with a new flag? Perhaps this is the Free Press's way of saving the Province money, who knows.

I guess the larger point here is, aside from giving valuable print space to a ridiculous idea, do they have nothing better to report on? They are laying off valuable reporters, who have done great work, because they are losing money, yet they can devote AN ENTIRE PAGE IN COLOR no less to this so called story that absolutely no one other then a handfull of people care about.

Is it any wonder why the Free Press is losing money and readers? Not to me.
Mailing-in reporting on Tim's camp proposal?

Every now and then a story appears which makes me wonder how the heck the NDP stay in office. The Winnipeg Free Press reported on Saturday that the provincial government announced plans to build a Tim Horton's children's camp at Meditation Lake in Whiteshell Provincial Park (Province unveils controversial wilderness camp, Mar. 31: actually, maybe this story by 'Bruiser' Owens also serves as a lesson in journalism).

The NDP held closed-door meetings on the proposed camp for over a year and then announced it as a fait accompli. With bold-faced contempt for the plebs, the NDP says it will now "meet with the public."

To discuss what? How the project will proceed? It also appears that the NDP will be contributing financially to the project. Why? Surely, Tim Horton's can raise the money by themselves. Have other provinces helped finance these camps?

Two token public meetings are scheduled: one in Winnipeg on April 30th for the general public and another at Dorothy Lake on May 2nd apparently for local cottagers. "First Nations people will also be consulted," writes Owens. It would be charitable to assume Owens is just transcribing a government press release.

Shouldn't the vagueness of that statement raise his eyebrow, never mind the reeking discrimination of it? How will First Nations people be consulted? Who will the NDP decide is qualified to speak for First Nations people? Considering that there isn't an Indian reserve within 100 kilometers of Meditation Lake, why do First Nations people have to be consulted at all outside of the meetings already provided? What is so special about their point of view in the NDP's eyes?

What no one seems to be asking either is: Will Meditation Lake be closed to the public after the camp is built? Meditation Lake is presently a designated back country campground and it also provides access to Horseshoe Lake, a popular destination for anglers which also has government-designated campsites.

Conservation Minister Stan Struthers said the province took its time determining which lake was most suitable for the camp. Well, then, I'd like to know what other lakes were studied for this project and why wasn't the public permitted to have input on that process. Cabinet ministers under Gary Doer have been reduced to being just announcers and are probably easy pickings for a serious journalist.

When reporters like Owens simply mail it in, it does a real disservice to the public especially when the public is being treated so disrespectfully by a government that has come to take its votes so for granted that it can ram autocracy down their throats anytime they please.

'Hey, it's for the children, right? Hey, we're going to consult the original inhabitants. Who is going to object to that? Everyone loves Tim Horton's, right? Those that love us will love us no matter what we do, right?'

I've got a great name for this camp: "Camp Contempt." Keep up the good work, Marty!
M "

True Crime
" 4 weeks ago I installed a metal detector at the front door of my store. I'm hoping aside from the usual guns/knives and screwdrivers it will also pick up hatchets. Let me be clear, I am not protecting my self from criminals...they do what they do...I am protecting myself from the judges who continually refuse to do their jobs and by keeping these people behind bars.

Do we have a high crime rate or a ridiculously LOW incarceration rate? The guy who robbed me at gunpoint had escaped, or should I say walked away from rockwood where he was incarcerated for armed robbery. Had he been put away with a lock on the door he would not have increased the crime rate by 14 additional robberies that he did when he was out on the street!.

Ari Driver"

"To The Great Canadian Talk Show.

I am a resident of the William Whyte area living near one of the top burger joints in town The White Top. I have just encountered a minor problem plaguing the residents of this underrated part of Winnipeg. Some might say it is something very minor, however I believe it leads to a major issue with revitalizing the neighbourhood.

I attempted to simply order delivery from the local Boston Pizza, probably a 5 minute drive from home but after a long day at work and a couple beers, I don't really want to make the journey and as many others in the city do, I ordered for delivery. unfortunately I was rejected not because I was out of the delivery area but because "drivers had encountered problems." I find my block perfectly safe and don't see why I can't get the same service as someone in Tuxedo. I'll even pay for it!

What this says to me is why would I want to live here if I can't even get a pizza delivered. What other services are Winnipeggers entitled to that the William Whyte residents are not. It is discriminatory to think that every one here will shoot, or mug, or rob an "innocent" delivery driver (drivers who I've seen deliver drugs while on duty as well, ironically).

This is counterproductive to the revitalization of the area. It really upsets me. Maybe if there was more of this kind of traffic, there would not be as much public displays of violence, too many witnesses.


and a happy note from a local band

"Subject: The Christpunchers

Hey Marty I listened to the April 6th archive online earlier this week and wanted to send you a thanks for the plug/review of our show, it was awesome! We've been sending to family and friends and they just love it. Thanks again!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Exclusive: University of Manitoba seeks special relief from $50M+ pension squeeze

The University of Manitoba has called 2 special meetings to ask Pension Plan members to approve of proposed changes caused by a "significant solvency deficiency" - which will require the University to make special payments of up to $19 million per year for the next 5 years" unless special action is taken.

And we have also learned the U of M is not the only University with a troubling pension liability.

In a letter to pension plan members, Vice-president (administration) Deborah McCallum cited three key factors for the crisis- "insufficient ongoing contribution levels" by members and the U of M., longer life expectancy that increases liability by approx. $22M, and "lower-than-expected (net)investment returns" of -15.7% in 08.

The University currently matches the $15M paid into the fund by members but "will have to contribute an extra $2.5-3 million this year."

And "based on the estimated funding shortfall" expected in a required valuation to be filed next year with the Pension Commission, the University would have to annually pony up:

* $ 5 million for the next 5 years to fund the going-concern deficit
* $19 million for the next 5 years to fund the solvency deficit
* $4.5 million for the current service cost

"...they will obviously have a significant and negative impact on the University's annual operating budget - and the services we can provide. ... preliminary estimates indicate that we will be facing a funding deficit of approximately $50 million on a going concern basis and over $100 million on a solvency basis." wrote McCallum.

Two special noon - 1 PM meetings have been called for next week - on Tuesday April 21 at St. John's College on the Fort Garry campus, and the next day at the Basic Medical Sciences Building at 730 William Ave.

At that time, members will be assured that current benefits, derived from "an extremely generous plan by Canadian standards" will not be reduced -- if they approve of a proposal to take advantage of the University Pension Plans Exemption Regulation of 2007.

The U of M "along with two other major Universities in Manitoba" intend to exercise the "solvency relief", which "could reduce the University's required contributions by $19 million or more per year starting in 2010."


Our thanks to family lawyer Jack A. King for his enlightening discussion yesterday about the issue of parental alienation, and his concerns about the effects of custody battles on the welfare of the kids caught in the middle. His advice was for divorcing couples to realize that they have to look 15 years ahead, and think about how poisoning the well because of bitter feelings towards an ex-spouse can negatively effect the children in the future, including delinquency and social problems. We'll follow up with Jack on the subject in the summer.

The problems with the 311 service continue, as evidenced by this note from Spirited Kenny:

"Someone I worked with tried to phone 311 to find out how to volunteer for sandbagging.

We dial 9 for an out side line, then 311… and nothing. No dial tone, no busy signal, nothing, just silences.

We phoned the Pan AM pool phone number line to get to 311.

I just found it interesting, another problem with 311."

And check out this email sent today to Mayor Sam Katz by a listener:

"Mayor Katz

On my wife’s way to school today she found a stray dog and tried to call animal services, she was prompted press one for this and two for that then sent over to 311. Unfortunately she had to go to school and could not wait on hold for who knows how long, so she asked me to call from work.

Of course I am unable to call 311 from work, so I find animal services phone number in the phone book not sure what I will do when I get new phone books at work and need to contact a city department. So I call Animal Services press 1 for this 2 for that and get sent to 311.

But this isn’t the end, I was sent to the 311 sandbagging registry and they tell me I need to call 311, I try to explain why I can’t and I’m informed that there is nothing they can do. So I called the Winnipeg Humane Society they gave me contact info for the owners and they will be picking up their dog this afternoon.

This event begs the question why do we even have a City of Winnipeg Animal Services department if it is impossible to contact them? Why not shut them down and give the Humane Society some funding, put them in charge of licensing and whatever else Animal Services does.

Have a great day and look forward to hearing you again on The Great Canadian Talk Show "

(Which will be on Monday, April 27th.)


Funeral services for the late Matt Bellan, former editor and owner of the Jewish Post, will be held Sunday April 19, at 12 noon, at the Chesed Shel Emes chapel, 1023 Main Street, with interment to follow at the Shaarey Zedek cemetery.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Matt Bellan, former editor of Jewish Post and News, dies suddenly

The Jewish community is mourning the loss of the recently retired editor and co-owner of The Jewish Post. Matt Bellan, 57, who partnered with his brother Bernie in operating the tabloid (now called the Jewish Post and News) since 1984, was found dead at his home this morning.

According to a a Canadian Jewish News story of December 31st, 2008, Bellan "retired in early December and is selling his share to his brother and partner, Bernie.

The paper had been a weekly until about a year ago, but the brothers decided to print every second week as a result of declining advertising sales.

Bellan said that the paper is doing much better financially and that advertising has picked up over the last year.

He added that he feels relieved to be free of the responsibility of editing the paper after 27 years on the job.


Matt Bellan said that when he began working as editor, the Jewish Post was a 12-page publication that served largely as a community bulletin board promoting upcoming events.

“I am proud that I have been able to enlarge the paper and provide more serious news reporting of community issues,” he said.


He also points out that he was the first editor of a Jewish newspaper in North America to openly proclaim that he is gay."

Bellan continued writing for the paper, and in one of his last stories reported on the confrontation between himself and Lesley Hughes defender and 9/11 truther Professor Anthony Hall. Hall had delivered the annual distinguished lecture sponsored by the Sociology Department of the University of Winnipeg, and was part of a panel discussion with Hughes at the University the next day.

"Lesley Hughes defends 2002 column alleging advance Israeli knowledge of 9/11"
(go to page 18)

It was at the end of Bellan's story that we learned that Hall had been removed as a member of the Content Advisory Committee for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, after the contradictions between his political and social pronouncements and his having influence on Gail Asper's pet project, was dissected by the local blog The Black Rod.

Bellan was the second noted Winnipeg journalist to pass away in the last 24 hours, as news of the death last night of former TV reporter Marshall Armstrong had just filtering out.

Our condolences to both families.

Veteran broadcaster Marshall Armstrong passes away

We have just received word that Marshall Armstrong, well remembered by local TV viewers from his days at CKY-TV, died suddenly last night. The investigative reporter still drew a wide audience with his weekly columns in the local Community Living publications in which he poked government bureauracracies of all stripes, and in particular at health authorities and officials. A fearless champion for the little guy, Marshall will be missed, and our deepest condolences go to his family.

Today at 4.30 PM we interview the Mayor of Leaf Rapids Ed Charrier, as he issues a 30 Day Challenge to the provincial government to help his community battle crime and addiction. At 5.10 PM Scott Taylor has his Stanley Cup playoff predictions. Plus your emails about superbug epidemics in hospitals, Gordon Sinclair's columns, and more!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Today: Driedger finds HSC had nurse shortage while Brian Sinclair was dying; FP exposes hospital superbug epidemic; Glesby death investigation news

Thanks to all our listeners and readers for your response to our ongoing coverage of the Gail Glesby case. Please consider joining the Facebook page "The Fight for Gail Glesby" to support the family and help bring other cases like hers forward.

On Good Friday, we replayed our findings of her mistreatment at Health Sciences Centre culled from official hospital records, as well as replaying our interview with her sister about the effect on the family.

Today we will have more news about the Glesby story- as well as following up on Tom Brodbeck's column "Shortage of Truth" that ran yesterday in the Winnipeg Sun.

Tom's analysis of the discovery by the provincial Conservative caucus that serious nursing shortages were concurrent to the death of Brian Sinclair at HSC's emergency room is very disturbing. Charleswood MLA and opposition Health Critic Myrna Driedger (at 4.10 PM) will explain the full details of the documentation she got in response to her Freedom of Information Request, and her opinion of how the government handled the aftermath of the death in light of this latest find. Brodbeck says Health Minister Theresa Oswald was wrong to claim the nursing allotment was adequate for a Friday in the core area emergency room and had nothing do do with Sinclair being untreated for 34 hours.

We'll also ask Driedger about today's Free Press story detailing rampant superbug epidemics in local hospitals. Jen Skerritt filed her own FOI on the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and forced them to make public statistics that are commonly provided the public in the rest of the country. We have our own insight into the curious gaps in the information Skerritt was provided - and our theory about what prevented the newspaper from paying the $900 fee demanded by the WRHA to hand over crucial details about treatment outcomes (which is the fancy way of saying, how long were patients, doctors, nurses, hospital staff or others sick, or if any of them, say, DIED.)

Also after 4.30, we'll read more of the FP comments thread and the scathing reaction to Gord Sinclair's "our internet readers are mean to me and I want to know who they are" bleat from last week, and to boot, a special Lesson in Journalism about his Saturday column that you won't want to miss.

Today's show is book-ended by two other special features:
- CTV's Susan Tymofichuk will open the show at 4.04 and tell all about how the New Kids On The Block concert was so fabulous she got to touch one of them! and how Leah Hextall missed a sportscast with laryngitis from cheering.
- At 5.20, the King of Corydon Avenue Frank the Italian Barber will have his Stanley Cup playoff predictions (he's betting on the Devils). We'll also discuss new details in the ongoing Major League baseball steroid scandal and about the drunk driver who killed Angel's pitcher Nick Adenhart last week.

Tomorrow: Scott Taylor of Citi-Fm will tell us why Frank's playoff predictions are wrong :)
Wednesday: Rocky Moudgill, Executive DirectorWinnipeg Youth Soccer Association Inc,, at 5.10 PM
Thursday: Jack A. King, senior partner of Petersen King. A Family law practitioner for over 20 years, at 4.15 PM
On Monday, April 27th at 4 PM, live in studio, Mayor Sam Katz answering our 311 horror stories, Disraeli funding questions and more.

(And a reminder we now hail from the new continent the Free Press discovered last Friday. I say "discovered" because surely, if it was an error, it would have been corrected by now. Hail Aurtarlia! )

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Oswald assures Legislature Glesby death review will include family

The Gail Glesby case moved from the media to the political arena yesterday, when Liberal leader Dr. Jon Gerrard made good on his promise to raise the issue with the government.

In Question Period yesterday Health Minister Theresa Oswald fielded direct questions about her knowledge of the file and how it is being handled by the WRHA. Gerrard had said in an exclusive interview on TGCTS on Monday, that he was going to advocate on behalf of the family at the earliest opportunity.

Here is the transcript of that exchange:

Gail Glesby Death

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Mr. Speaker, Manitobans have been shocked recently to learn of the appalling facts surrounding the death of Gail Glesby.

Ms. Glesby was seen at the Health Sciences Centre emergency room in 2004 when she became ill after a gastroscopy procedure, and while there, as I understand it, she developed an intracerebral hemorrhage, likely from a fall in the emergency room washroom. The diagnosis was delayed and, as the result, she died.

Now, the recent death of Natasha Richardson has emphasized the need to make a rapid diagnosis when somebody falls and has a head injury,
but unlike Natasha Richardson, Gail Glesby fell in an emergency room.

I ask the minister whether she is prepared to meet with Gail's daughter, Ashley, to talk to her, to offer her an apology, to ensure that this incident is very thoroughly investigated, reported on and that changes are made to correct the problems.

Hon. Theresa Oswald (Minister of Health): I can say to the member, as he knows all members of this House understand, that the loss of a loved one is a tragic and serious thing. When there are circumstances surrounding the loss of that loved one that are not clear to the family, that can really compound any sorrow that is felt.

I can assure the member that at the time of this individual's death, reviews were conducted. There have been some questions subsequent to that concerning the circumstances surrounding the death. It was some years ago. Those records are being pulled from the archives at the WRHA. We'll meet with the family, and, indeed, any family that wants to meet with me is welcome to, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Gerrard: Mr. Speaker, it's my understanding that critical incident reports are to go to the minister. So I would ask the minister: When knowing that there have been quite a number of critical incidents in Winnipeg's emergency rooms–I think more than 50 over the last little while–can the minister tell this Chamber,
was this particular death of Gail Glesby considered a critical incident?

The investigation, we are told, of some sort was done. Did the minister receive a report of the investigation, and can the minister tell us what changes were made as the result of the report?

Ms. Oswald: I can inform this House that in the situation of this particular case, the death was investigated as a critical clinical occurrence, which, indeed, was the type of investigation that predated a critical incident. The legislation was not in place at that time.

An investigation did occur at that time, but, of course, as Manitobans have learned recently, there are concerns by this family that perhaps not all of the information came forward.

So the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has agreed to rereview the situation, to speak with the family to learn if there were any details at all that didn't come forward during that investigation, so that they could come forward now.

Records are being retrieved from the archives, Mr. Speaker. We want this family to have peace, and that comes from knowing the details. We're going to work with this family to ensure that that happens, Mr. Speaker.


Today's Winnipeg Free Press suggests that the city is faced with a budget shortfall of $10M after a city analysis of the provincial budget. According to Bartley Kives,
the city was hoping for $15M in NDP generosity but it appears only $1.55 million in new funding is coming to 510 Main Street.

On provincial budget day, Katz said city officials were still trying to determine what the 2009 provincial budget meant for Winnipeg. Two weeks later, the total amount of additional revenue heading Winnipeg's way appears to be $1.55 million, according to a summary provided by Winnipeg chief financial officer Mike Ruta.

Increased provincial speeding fines should allow the city to earn $800,000 in additional traffic-enforcement revenue this year, while the province's new electronic waste recycling enhancement could generate $750,000, Ruta said in a statement.

(Of course this story comes only 8 days after our own interview with Coun. Jeff Browaty about the budget. He told us the city was facing a $5M hole. But anyways...)

In his lede, Kives describes the math this way:

Winnipeg will receive about a tenth of the extra revenue Mayor Sam Katz expected from the Doer government this year, leaving a $10-million hole in the city budget, civic number-crunchers suggest.

Memo to Bart: $15 Million minus (a tenth of $15 million) = a $13.5 million shortfall, NOT $10 million.

Maybe an editor chopped out some other part of the equation.

Or, maybe Bart was just having a bad day. Because his FP/Probe Research poll on infrastructure priorities story had a few gaps in logic as well.

Starting with not providing the actual questions in the story (at least, not online).

Or the actual sample results that would justify the claim:

... the picture changes dramatically when the sample is broken down by age, as Winnipeggers 18 to 34 are almost just as concerned about rapid transit as they are with road repairs, the survey suggests.

Also, there is no frame of reference provided to explain why "older" folks prefer building roads and bridges as opposed to the younger set dreaming of electric trains.

For instance, knowing how many of these youthful 'visionaries' actually pay property taxes and have an true stake in the city budget, could help explain why they are so eager to spend scads of money on the future, while the clear majority insists that potholes and sewer lines be fixed first NOW.

Even the headline is wrong - or is it a clue about the agenda of the gatekeepers?

Winnipeggers' top concern? Roads, transit
Younger people evenly split.

... 52 per cent of respondents to a March telephone survey of 600 adults selected road and bridge repairs as their priority, compared to 22 per cent who favoured the construction of a rapid-transit line...

Do the math. 52 percent is more than DOUBLE 22 percent -- yet transit makes the headline.

And consider the choice offered respondents left out of the headline:

21 per cent who chose to complete the city's $1.8-billion waste-water upgrade

Based on a survey of 600 people, the margin of error is around 4%. (Of course that's only because Google told us, Probe hasn't bothered posting this survey online yet.) Statistically, transit and the water plant are tied.

So for the headline writer to pick "transit" as a "top concern", and ignore the dead-heat with the waste-water plant, and trumpet the 'younger people evenly split' angle with no actual proof provided, is indicative of how the gatekeepers assume that no one will actually read and analyze the story -- but everyone will read the headline and accept it as fact.

How long will it take for some rapid transit lobbyist or green-leaning politician to cite this bogus story and headline as gospel and try to leverage more money towards their pet project at a photo-op, taking funding and attention away from the undisputed "top concern" - fixing our crumbling roads and bridges so that our cars don't sustain busted shocks and bent frames.


Former Freep crime and court specialist James Turner is making his mark on the web with the detailed ongoing coverage about youth crime and gangs, that he used to file over on Mountain Ave.

Check it out -


Many thanks to Red River College president Jeff Zabudsky for explaining the recent recommendations of the Vehicle Standards Advisory Board which he was a member of. He's also taken on an appointment to the Innovation Council, and is incoming chairman of the United Way campaign. Now that's busy! Yesterday's interview will be replayed next Tuesday night at 11 PM, or can be found at our archives thru the Kick-FM website.

Today: Kelly Dehn of CTV with Crimewatch, and we also have details of a First Nations band audit that points to a possible financial crisis.
Thursday: Jon Waldman of Slam!Sports reviews Wrestlemania 25 and plugs his new book.
Good Friday: A Special TGCTS episode: The Gail Glesby Story.

Next week:
- NHL playoff predictions with Scott Taylor on Tuesday,
- the value of youth soccer as a community builder on Wednesday after 5 PM with Rocky Moudgill of WYSA,
- and next Thursday at 4.15 PM, family law expert Jack King.

Moses and Aaron went to the Pharaoh and said to him "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: "Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the desert."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Winnipeg Sun front page calls Gail Glesby death "HSC horror story"; WRHA claims "all the formal reviews were done"; family still waiting for answers

Following our breaking the story about the treatment of Gail Glesby after her return visit to the emergency room of the Health Sciences Centre in October 2004 and of the family now demanding answers, the Winnipeg Sun picked up the theme in Saturday's paper-- and got a strange explanation from health care officials.

We got the ball rolling with the background of the case on Thursday, when we reported exclusive details of our consulting doctors' review of the official file and coroners report, and narrative notes by Gail's daughter.

Ashley fought in vain with HSC staff for Gail to be treated with dignity and respect. Instead, Gail was accused of "faking" clear symptoms of a brain bleed, and was getting the bum's rush out the door to clear a bed even when her brain injury had rendered her incapacitated.
Here is a link to that broadcast:

In our exclusive follow-up interview with Gail's sister Heidi on Friday, she told the Kick-FM audience that the hospital had ignored Gail as she lay dying; refused to speak to her after she rushed to Gail's bedside, because they knew she was a nurse and had tough questions for the staff; and the HSC and WRHA had thwarted their right to closure by ignoring her survivors' concerns since the death.

Sun reporter Paul Turenne spoke to Gail's daughter Ashley for his Saturday story Hospital apology sought, Late mom ill-treated at HSC, woman says.

She repeated the ugly details including Gail being left to languish against a wall for hours strapped into a wheelchair , with the declaration, "She was treated awfully in that hospital ... Nobody should have to go through that".

Turenne contacted the WRHA offices for reaction, and was told "all the formal reviews were done at the time, but will be reviewed now to ensure nothing was missed. Because of that ongoing review, the spokeswoman said she could not provide information about what happened to Gail Glesby."

It would appear the formal reviews missed at least one not-so-minor thing - SPEAKING WITH THE FAMILY.

The family that insisted she was not faking but was truly deteriorating and required proper examination. That argued she was unfit to be discharged to their care, let alone to be shipped to a homeless shelter as threatened by nurses. That had to change her bedsheets and clear her breathing tube, as she lay in a coma slipping from life in the hospital.

Other questions now become obvious:

* Were the "formal reviews" shared with the Chief Medical Examiner -- or do officials mean HIS and other post-mortem reports, which specifically said Glesby's fall after being sent unattended to the bathroom was a likely source of the brain trauma that killed her ?

* Was Glesby's fall and/or death reported as a critical care incident?

* Did officials speak to the staffer who scratched out the discharge time and note on the chart, after Gail was found in the wheelchair at least 2 hours after staff told Ashley her mom had left the building?

TGCTS will have more on the Glesby case on Monday.

This past week TGCTS also had the exclusive about a lawsuit filed against the Province of Manitoba, after the December seizure of a kennel of dogs called "labradoodles" from a local breeder.

Despite hysterical media and animal rights groups claims of a "puppy mill" abusing the animals, no charges were ever filed against the breeder, and his property was sold with no accounting or remission of the proceeds, to him.

The possibly illegal re-distribution of the animals almost ensnared US President Obama in the controversy, as a local official engaged in a cheap publicity stunt that a "rescued" labradoodle might join the Obama family in the White House after the inauguration.

Lawyer Gene Zazalenchuk filed the Statement of Claim on behalf of Heron Creek Outfitters Inc. for $100,000 for the value of the dogs plus other damages, asserting the warrantless seizure was baseless and done with excessive force, and that the sale of the dogs was conducted even after an objection was filed with the Minister as provided for in the Animal Care Act. The province has 20 days to file a response.

The David Asper - Bomber stadium deal got a lot of strong reaction on local blogs, with particularly interesting commentary from Hacks and Wonks, Graham Hnatiuk, Policy Frog and, in an elaboration of his comments on our Thursday show about poor comprehension of the issues by young MSM reporters, Scott Taylor. All worthwhile reads.


Our thanks to all the well-wishers who saw us Friday night at the Brewnos, and in particular to the band The Eardrums, for their dedication of a cover of the B-52's Rock Lobster to yours truly. We acquired a copy of their CD and will be using the tunage on the show this coming week.

And not only was it a rockin' good time with great friends like Kick-FM's The Beat and our Thursday producer Shannah-Lee Vidal, the flatbread pizza at the host venue Academy Bar and Grill was a taste sensation.

Also, we spent time visiting at the Zoo which was jam packed for a 3-tribute band playbill. The quartet Christ Punchers stole the show with their high energy Rage Against The Machine set. And we have arranged for free tickets to the big June 12/13th doubleheader, when punk legends DOA with Joe Keithley appear, so stay tuned to win, courtesy of Chuck and Dave Green and the Osborne Village Inn.

Yesterday, the Editor of The Wrestling Observer, Dave Meltzer, made his first appearance on our show and shared in a rollicking preview of Wrestlemania 25 and the WWE Hall of Fame inductions that include Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ricky Steamboat and old=school AWA fan favorite Cowboy Bill Watts. On Monday after 5 PM, we will go into all the results and other news of the big weekend in Houston, with Frank the Italian Barber.

On Tuesday at 4.30 PM, Red River College prexy Dr. Jeff Zabudsky will explain the recommendations of the Vehicle Standards Advisory Board that he helped develop, and perhaps answer questions like:
- will service stations be allowed to charge for mandatory air compressors?
- are car pools going to be allowed to use Diamond Lanes?
- what is the projected cost of proposed new public and private sector "mandatory workplace transportation demand management" bureaucracies ?
- why should Manitobans upgrade their cheap winter beaters, when potholes are already wrecking front ends and have the potential to outright destroy the more expensive "fuel efficient" vehicles they may be forced to buy ?

And on Wednesday at 4.10 PM, the return of Kelly Dehn and CTV Crimewatch !

Your emails welcome