Shona Holmes: "Charity" funded in her quest to take away your health care? Update.

Have you seen the ads on CNN and FOX news? Canadian Healthcare it's teh Evil and the US will be falling prey to the socialists if they adopt anything like our system here in Canada.
They have been using the case of one Shona Holmes to make their point.

She was DENIED! care in Canada. For a scary tumour, and she was forced to mortgage her home to go to Arizona to get surgery. A tumour! How dramatic. Her case has been taken up by Senator McConnel, which is no massive surprise. He seems to specialize in trumped up anecdotes and false information. From the Huffington post:

On the Mayo Clinic's website, Shona Holmes is a success story. But it's somewhat different story than all the headlines might have implied. Holmes' "brain tumour" was actually a Rathke's Cleft Cyst on her pituitary gland. To quote an American source, the John Wayne Cancer Center, "Rathke's Cleft Cysts are not true tumors or neoplasms; instead they are benign cysts."
There's no doubt Holmes had a problem that needed treatment, and she was given appointments with the appropriate specialists in Ontario. She chose not to wait the few months to see them. But it's a far cry from the life-or-death picture portrayed by Holmes on the TV ads or by McConnell in his attacks.

At Dkos a diarist has called it a "pimple" on her brain. It's a bit more serious, but here is the scoop:

Rathke cleft cysts (RCCs) are benign, epithelium-lined intrasellar cysts believed to originate from remnants of the Rathke pouch. RCCs commonly have a round, ovoid, or dumbbell shape.
In 1913, Goldzieher described the first case of RCC as an incidental postmortem finding. The description of RCC has expanded since the advent of computed tomography (CT) scanning and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
As Voelker and colleagues have stated, the most common theory about the origin of RCCs is that the cysts are derived from true remnants of the embryologic Rathke pouch

(sidenote: Would this be a pre-existing condition in the US healthcare Insurance industry?)

Ms Holmes has taken the Ontario government to court in an attempt to dismantle healthcare for the rest of us.

UPDATE: Just adding this little bit in case I wasn't perfectly clear before, she is not just suing to recover her costs, this is to challenge healthcare. Period.

According to a press conference held this month, the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) is funding a Charter challenge to single tier Public Medicare in Ontario. This group also launched a class action against single tier in Alberta last year. The goal appears to be to extend the Chaoulli decision outside of Quebec –to bring down the ban on two-tiering and to widen the opening for two-tier Medicare, extra-billing, user charges and out-of-pocket payment for medical care.

Because she had to spend $97,000 dollars of her own money for surgery. Truly, that is American style healthcare isn't it?

Keep in mind, that she may have actually bumped an American who was waiting on a list so she could jump the queue.

Her case is being bankrolled by the Canadian Constitution Foundation which is headed by a John Carpay. So, her case is also being funded by the taxpayers. They have "charitiable status". Because they are....umm....."non partisan"? 

"The Canadian Constitution is now under almost continuous barrage," the foundation says on its website. "And the forces assembled against it, with their own narrow interests and goals at their back, are varied, strong, relentless – and growing."

Until its demise last fall, the Court Challenges Program was front and centre among those dark forces. Its sin, in Carpay's words, was to give money "to special interest groups to advance their politically correct causes through the courts. ...

"Requiring people to pay for advocacy with which they disagree does violence to a person's conscience," he wrote in the Calgary Herald. "How would (pro-choice) supporters feel if their tax dollars were used for court challenges to recognize the right of unborn children?"


The mechanism for this redirection is the registered charity. Thanks to the Canadian constitution Foundation's charitable status, anyone who supports its particular political causes gets a tax writeoff that, in effect, all other taxpayers – including those who disagree with its aims – have to cover.

Geeze. Why not ask me how I feel about funding far right wingnuts and their personal crusade to take my rights away? They cheered the demise of the Court Challenges program, because they couldnt pick and choose who got funding.

Who are the Canadian Constitution Foundation in more detail?  I would lead you to a wiki page, but it was deleted. It was deleted because it was placed as a promotion for the CCF by a JamesMclean23. Google leads me here through the cache.

James Mclean is listed as an author of articles that appear on the CCF site. An offshoot of the CCF is

Sounds Right wing American you might say? To me too. And as cracked as the famed bell to be honest.

The CCF board:

The CCF's board of directors and advisory board are both made up of ideologues and financiers of the far right.

  • Chairman Claus Jenson of BC is the owner of Overland Freight Lines Ltd and made a presentation to a legislative committee in 2002 in which he said "I am a big fan of the free enterprise system… in my view, big is bad – big business, big government and big unions," and argued for curtailing public sector wages, deregulation and for a policy that would "discourage people from turning to government to solve their individual problems and demands for more handout requests…".
  • Ehor Boyanowsky is a Simon Fraser University professor who, in 2001, made a deputation to a legislative committee calling for a referendum on the Nisga'a treaty.
  • Dr. Will Johnston is a founding member of "The Conservative Council" and is
    president of the anti-abortion group Physicians for Life
  • Mark Mitchell is vice-chairman of the Fraser Institute's board of trustees
  • Chris Schafer is a conservative lawyer and writer and co-authored a Fraser Institute study on welfare reform.
  • Advisory Committee member Avril Allen is also the CCF's Ontario Counsel and is the lawyer in the Ontario Chaoulli challenge. She was a summer intern at the Fraser Institute and also contact person for the "Laissez-Faire Club of Toronto".
  • Ezra Levant, publisher of the right wing Western Standard and a long time Reform Party and "Stockaholic" is also on the Advisory Committee
  • Until recently another board member was Marni Soupcoff of the National Post's editorial board; herself a lawyer and former staff attorney at the Institute for Justice, a Washington "libertarian public interest law firm."

Lorne Gunter, who also writes at the National Post is the President of another far right think tank, the Civitas Society.

Here is the current list from the CCF site: Interesting.

CCF [current] Board of Directors

Andrew Coyne, national editor, Maclean's Magazine
Dr. Ehor Boyanowsky, professor of Criminology, Simon Fraser University
John Carpay, executive director, Canadian Constitution Foundation
Dr. Glenn Fox, professor, Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Guelph
Claus Jensen, retired businessman, West Vancouver
Will Johnston, MD, family physician, Vancouver
Lisa La Horey, partner, McCague Peacock Borlack McInnis & Lloyd LLP
Mark Mitchell (Chair), president, Reliant Capital Limited
Christopher Schafer, associate, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
Dr. Moin Yahya, professor, University of Alberta Faculty of Law

CCF Advisory Board

Avril Allen, associate, Boghosian + Associates Professional Corporation
Dr. Thomas Bateman, professor of Political Science, St. Thomas University
Dr. Russell Brown, professor, University of Alberta, Faculty of Law
Andy Crooks, Calgary lawyer and businessmann
Gordon Gibson, former BC MLA, author and public policy ressearcher
Michel Kelly-Gagnon, president, Montréal Economic Institute
Dr. Rainer Knopff, University of Calgary Political Science professor.
Eugene Meehan, Q.C., Chair, Supreme Court Practice Group, Lang Michener LLP
Bruce Pardy, Queens University Law professor
Michael Sporer, lawyer and criminal law instructor at Douglas College

To summarize: Shona Holmes decided not to wait, and went all the way to Arizona to get her surgery for a cyst, that by most of the medical descriptions I have found should be treated conservatively, and was not actually life threatening.

She is now telling the US media that she had an immediately life threatening tumour, and was basically denied any medical care in Canada. She has filed a lawsuit to change the way medical care is done in Canada, so that it can be dismantled to be more like the US system. Her case is being funded by a right wing think tank with charitable status bacause its soooooo "non partisan",  that also has many connections to the Fraser Institute and other conservative ultra right wing think tanks.

Another interesting trip is to look at some of those who have made tax deductible donations to the "cause".

Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

Aurea Foundation

Donner Family Foundation ( I will avoid Donner party jokes here)

John & Lotte Hecht Memorial Foundation 

Ain't that a pip, eh?


I'm not surprised that

I'm not surprised that Holmes video is a manipulation to the nth degree.

The question is, why don't the Democrats come up here and ask people like me, who've had great experiences with the Canadian system (well, the one in BC specifically) to come and do them an infomercial? Seriously!


Seems that many dems are just as in pocket as many rethugs.
Blue dogs and all that.
Many of us are posting at places like kos. The trad media are watching, and scared shitless to say much.

Same old eh?

It's a fact: 100% of all the people who ate carrots in 1850, are dead.

I'll take a stab at that.

The question was : Why aren't democrats making commercials about all the good experiences Canadians have with their heath care system ?

Good question. It seems like something they should do to counter the spin of the Right Wing in the states.

I'm not saying I have a correct answer to the question, but I do have an idea on it.

The Democrats know that what is being proposed for health care reform in the states is not really comparable to the system in Canada. What they are going to get is way off what we have for single payer health care. If comparisons are made there can be multiple holes picked in the reasoning and the whole argument degenerates to a end result of the Democrats not winning.

Bottom line : The Democrats are smart enough, and honest enough, to not make propaganda claims that can be easily nullified.

The Republicans, being too smart by half, make the propaganda claims and trust the media machine and the general public to not scratch the surface to discover the real details.

Who knows how to spin reality and win the political battle ?

It would be grand if Obama could make a real reform to the American health care system. What he is doing is making a step in that direction. I hope he fares better that Hillary did in the '90's.

The Think Tank Circle Jerk

is alive and well, and trying to take away your health coverage. Consider yourselves warned.

When I find one of those threads

And start pulling, I am never sure whether to laugh or hide under my desk.

I really want to ask Andrew Coyne (and the rest too) why he hates Canada so fucking much. What an asshole eh?

It's a fact: 100% of all the people who ate carrots in 1850, are dead.

Great work, pale

I have been trying to post about this for a couple of days and I can't -- I just lose control, flip out and go all CAPS LOCK ENGAGED, etc.

I'm sensitive about our healthcare system, and this story fucking enrages me.

Its galling eh?

Shes just a greedy type. Willing to kill millions for whatever reason.

And thanks. Sadly we all need to stand watch on our healthcare.

It's a fact: 100% of all the people who ate carrots in 1850, are dead.