BC govt lawyers provide fodder for Monty Python & Yes, Minister

In the saga of BC orthopode Dr. Brian Day’s lawsuit, the behavior of British Columbia government lawyers could be prime fodder for the popular British satirical troupe, Monty Python, and for the British political satire, Yes, Minister.

The government’s lawyers are trying to prevent BC Health Minister Terry Lake from testifying. Why? They’re claiming parliamentary privilege. The real reason? Probably, because what Lake has said publicly contradicts the government’s own legal defence.  For example:

  • “The reality is we’re still struggling with wait times, despite a huge increase in the number of surgeries that we are performing each and every year.”
  • “But the reality is there are some things that the private sector can do under the Canada Health Act and under the [BC] Medicare Protection Act which will prove efficient. It can provide a shorter access to care without draining resources from the public health system.”

In a 2016 interview with the Ottawa Citizen, Lake stated that “Medicare isn’t performing as well as systems in places such as Europe, Australia and New Zealand.”

An actual quote from the BC government lawyer: “The Defendant [i.e., the government] admits that Minister Lake was quoted in an article published on or about 15 January 2016 in the Ottawa Citizen as having said words similar to those quoted in this request, but denies that that fact is relevant to the issues raised by the pleadings in this litigation.”

Perhaps the BC government lawyer should have familiarized herself or himself with the research, findings and rankings of the Commonwealth Foundation: Canada was 10th, USA 11th.

Monty Python: 

Maybe next time the BC government lawyer will just burst into song, borrowing from Monty Python’s famous, “I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK.”

  • I’m Medicare and I’m OK.
  • Come to my hospital and wait all day.
  • Your surgery, it can wait too.
  • Medicare is just so good for you.

Yes, Minister

A couple of years ago, the government lawyers “discovered” 300,000 documents — that’s correct, 300,000 — just a day or two before the trial was to commence. That delayed proceedings by about a year and added to Dr. Day’s already hefty legal bill as his legal counsel had to review each document. As for the government’s legal bill, ho hum, it’s only BC taxpayer dollars — nothing to get fussed about.

  • Minister: “So, where did you discover 300,000 documents?”
  • Sir Humphrey: “Well, we had to scour around a bit. I mean, it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t like they were sitting in a filing cabinet in a hospital ER.”
  • Minister: “Yes, yes. I can see that. So, where did you find them? I mean, it must be a bit difficult to hide 300,000 pieces of paper.”
  • Sir Humphrey: “Well, actually Minister, they were found in your Reading in-basket.”





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