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Saturday, May 21, 2005

Chaoulli in the NY Times


Dr. Jacques Chaoulli explains his approach to his Supreme Court trial to law student Debi Chakrabarty at the 2004 Liberty Summer Seminar.

Today, the New York Times indirectly references my Western Standard cover story from last October (entitled "Freedom Fighter") on Dr. Jacques Chaoulli's case before the Supreme Court. They write:
"A diminutive man who has trouble keeping his wire-rim glasses on straight, Dr. Chaoulli, 53, hardly looks like the "freedom fighter" that Canada's conservative news media have called him. But if he wins his case he will tear up the third rail of the nation's politics and raze what many Canadians consider to be the bedrock of their national identity."
Of course, by "Canada's conservative news media," the New York Times means the Western Standard. Where was the rest of Canada's news media on this story? If they covered it at all (which not all of them did), they buried the lede in A3.

Anyhow, the article, entitled "A Doctor-Lawyer-Gadfly v. Canada's Medical System," is a good account of Chaoulli's struggles and battles with Canada's health care system. That struggle has been temporarily been put on hold, since the Court has not yet issued a ruling in the case. Chaoulli finished his arguments almost a year ago... In my article, scholars that I spoke to expected the decision to come down before the end of last year. Why the delay? Dr. Chaoulli explained to me that he thought the delay is "a good sign."

I suppose he must have told the New York Times the same thing, since they write:
"It has been a year since the Canadian Supreme Court heard the case, a rare delay that is raising eyebrows in legal circles. Scholars studying Dr. Chaoulli's challenge say the court is either badly divided or waiting for the appropriate political moment to release a bombshell..."
A bombshell. Now that would be great news for our health care system.

I've sent Jacques an email asking him to comment on the NY Times story. I'll update this entry with his response.

Meanwhile, last August, if you had attended the Liberty Summer Seminar, you would have had a chance to meet the 'freedom fighter' in person. He explained his travails before the Court, and gave a speech on political parties.

UPDATE:
Chaoulli writes the following:
The story is very good.

What I would like people reading it to get out of it :

1. It has been unfortunate that Canadian law schools have been
teaching for so long, wrongly in my view, that the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms
doesn't protect the freedom to
contract, because a society without such a freedom is a Marxist
society.

2. It has been unfortunate that Canadian lawyers didn't challenge
that teaching mentioned above, since they were scared to touch
the taboo being the strong influence of the Marxist-driven labour
unions in Canadian social policies, wrongly put into equation with
the so-called "Canadian national identity."

3. We need in Canada a parallel university system with private law
schools whose teaching would not be driven by socialists
professors of law.

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