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Saturday, November 26, 2022
Letter: We need leader with vision of Kennedy or Douglas

Dear editor:

Before you think I'm crazy, let me segue into my letter by looking at two visionary leaders from the past: U.S. President John F. Kennedy and former Saskatchwan Premier Tommy Douglas.

On May 25, 1961, Kennedy, stood in front of a joint session of Congress and proposed landing a man on the moon and returning him safely before the decade was out. At the time engineers and scientists said it could not be done, the technology was just not available to undertake such a mammoth task . On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong stepped off the lunar module onto the moon. Mission accomplished.

Again, in the early 1960s, Saskatchewan faced a bitter doctor's strike over state-controlled medicine proposed by then-premier Tommy Douglas. who many said was crazy. The province's Liberal party led by Ross Thatcher, backed the doctors, 90 per cent of whom went on strike. They vehemently opposed the plan and attacked Douglas. The following year, after the strike and doctors had returned to work, medicare was enacted in Saskatchewan. Within 10 years, the entire country was covered by medicare.

Today, our government, with regularity, points to the high and ever-increasing “health care budget for seniors.” Yes, as we age, our health deteriorates and hospital and doctor visits typically become more frequent.

One contributing factor, and a financial one, is not being able to afford to purchase the food for a more healthy, nutritious diet. To follow and eat healthy, seniors need more disposable income. So, improve their overall health and subsequently our health care costs will be greatly reduced.

Attacking the increased income problem, start by fashioning an income tax plan that eliminates both federal and provincial income tax by age 80.  

On a sliding scale, commence the reduction at, say, age 65 or 70. Who disagrees that by age 80 we have all paid our fair share, and then some, of income tax?

Now , I'm no President Kennedy or Tommy Douglas, but where are our visionary government leaders of today, bickering over our “Teflon Don” of Canadian politics, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Big visions are tough, they are  contentious and require strong leadership to drive them forward. They require guts.

At the time Kennedy said:  “We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and do other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. “

We need a Kennedy or a Douglas in Ottawa.

Samuel Young