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Canada’s Bosses want your healthcare

John Bell

November 10, 2021
The Toronto Star’s new conservative roots are showing. A recent edition featured a “debate” on whether or not COVID has created a crisis in healthcare that can only be cured by privatization.
To argue for privatization, the Star trotted out the epitome of Canada’s ruling class, Gwyn Morgan.
If the mafia term Capo dei Capi (Boss of all the Bosses) fits anyone in the rotating-door world of Canadian corporate power and neo-liberal politics, it is Gwyn Morgan. The fact that you probably aren’t familiar with his name no doubt suits Mr. Morgan to a tee – the Capo dei Capi works best in the shadows.
His pedigree is perfect, uniting the Alberta oil patch (he was founder, president and CEO of EnCana), global infrastructure imperialism (he was Chairman of SNC-Lavalinduring some its most scandal-prone years), Bay Street cronyism (he was director and vice chair of Canadian Council of Chief Executives, now known as the Business Council of Canada, the nation’s most powerful lobby group), and Ottawa back rooms (in 2006 Stephen Harper created a Public Appointments Commission, designed to place Conservative true believers throughout the political and legal bureaucracy, and appointed his old pal Gwyn Morgan to head it).
Along the way he sat on various corporate boards: Accenture Energy, Rio Tinto Alcan, LaFarge Canada and HSBC Bank Canada. And in his spare time he is or has been a director of such charitable ventures as the Fraser Institute, the Manning Centre and the American Petroleum Institute.
If you know his name at all, it is from his years as a Globe and Mail columnist, where he used his bully pulpit to champion the tar sands and deny climate change emergency. In a fawning list of Canada’s top-25 corporate power brokers back in 2005, the Globe said Morgan“was the loudest voice in the oil patch trying to shout down the Kyoto accord.” 
Morgan is a true-believer in the “free market” privatization of all public services, but he has never been adverse to taking public money as government subsidies for EnCana and its predecessor Alberta Energy Company. As an unelected Harper power-broker, he was never shy about his far right political views, especially his belief that rising crime was caused by immigration
If you look up Canadian ruling class in the dictionary, there you will find Gwyn Morgan’s picture.
So it is no surprise that Mr. Morgan is also a champion of privatizing Canada’s healthcare system. In his Star column he does what privatization champions always do. He describes a system already in crisis, now devastated by successive waves of COVID. He isn’t wrong.
But what he conveniently neglects to mention is that the root cause of our healthcare crisis is government underfunding and a series of austerity budgets stretching back to the Mulroney years, and made worse by Chretien/Martin, Harper and now Trudeau.
This is no oversight – Morgan has been personally influencing all these governments, as a corporate boss and as an ideological lobbyist. 
Create a crisis. Walk in and say, “Hey, there’s a crisis.” Then say, “They only solution is to hand things over to me and my friends.” That’s the ruling class playbook. No one does it like the Capo dei Capi.
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