Danny Williams may be on to something with American health care. A new Angus Reid poll shows 44 per cent of Canadians agree with his decision to head south of the border for heart surgery; 30 per cent disagreed and 25 per cent are undecided.
The online poll of 1,001 Canadians was conducted between Feb. 12 and Feb. 13. As well, 40 per cent of those surveyed said they would pay themselves for quicker access to treatment in the United States.
The Newfoundland Premier's illness and reasons for travelling south of the border for treatment are still shrouded in mystery. But he has touched off a debate in Canada about our public health-care system.
Mr. Williams was recently released from hospital and there is informed speculation he will attend Newfoundland and Labrador Day at the Vancouver Olympics on Feb. 26. He is not travelling to Washington this week where seven of his provincial colleagues are meeting with state governors.
Interestingly, the trip to the U.S. capital is a first for the premiers, who are making representations in Washington as part of the Council of the Federation.
PEI Premier Robert Ghiz, who is in Vancouver for the Games - PEI Day is tomorrow - says that the visit is an effort by the premiers, without any involvement from the federal government, to remind their American counterparts of the importance of the trading relationship. The premiers, Mr. Ghiz adds, are trying to establish the Counsicl as its own entity.
Helping them along in Washington is their colleague, Gary Doer, the Canadian Ambassador. He was most recently premier of Manitoba, and has invited his old friends over to his house for the Canada-U.S. Olympic hockey game Sunday - a little politics with their Molson Canadian and popcorn.
(File photo: Paul Daly for The Globe and Mail)