CBC pioneer was Atkinson’s first dean

Neil Morrison, who briefly served as dean of adult education at Atkinson College in the early 1960s, has died at the age of 88, reported CP Wire Nov. 27. Mr. Morrison helped shape the CBC during a 21-year career at the public broadcaster that began in the 1940s, said the report. The Ottawa Citizen also carried a report about Mr. Morrison Nov. 29. Considered an “itinerant academic”, said the report, Mr. Morrison came to Glendon after his CBC days. At the national broadcaster, Mr. Morrison was a producer and commentator who created the first radio phone-in shows and CBC’s research department and filled in occasionally on “Front Page Challenge”.

Bite the bullet on pharmacare

“I would say, bite the bullet and do it now,” said Joel Lexchin, physician, and professor of health policy at York University, reports a CP Wire story released Nov. 28 and carried in The Toronto Sun Nov. 29, on reaction to Roy Romanow’s proposal to phase into pharmaceutical reforms. “Don’t nickel-and-dime it with this piece-meal approach.” Lexchin has estimated pharmacare would cost Ottawa $5 billion annually but would actually reduce the overall amount spent on drugs.

Lexchin also commented in another Nov. 28 CP Wire story on pharmaceutical policy change. The Romanow Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada has recommended a $1-billion plan to reimburse provincial drug plans for catastrophic drug costs – above $1,500 for individuals. “That, to my mind, is really only a half measure,” Lexchin said…. “Single-payer systems, like we have with medicare, are the best way of controlling costs. It puts all the decision-making in one body and gives that body much better bargaining power…with pharmaceutical companies.”

How you frame the question

In a letter to the National Post printed Nov. 28, Ian Gentles, Glendon history professor, wrote: “Regarding public opinion on abortion, a lot depends on how you frame the question. If people are asked about a woman’s freedom to choose, the answer comes back overwhelmingly ‘yes’. Yet, in November 2000, the National Post published a poll showing more Canadians favouring ‘some limits’ on abortions than not. If we are talking about freedom, should we not also consider the freedom of those to whom abortion is morally repugnant?”