Public Health Is Ecosystem Health

                Press Release

                Saltsprings, Pictou County, N.S., December 27, 2005

                David Orton, Green Party candidate for Central Nova, was recently
            asked by the New Glasgow Evening News, along with the other
            candidates in the riding, the question "How can healthcare be
            improved in Pictou County and would private healthcare work here?"
            Orton is running in this federal election under his campaign theme,
            "Make Peace With Nature, Vote Green."

                Orton pointed out, "The Greens believe that in order to have a
            healthy population, we need a healthy environment. Without ecosystem
            health there will be no long term public or individual health, yet we
            pay scant attention to this here in Central Nova or throughout
            Canada. To have a healthy environment, we must also pay attention to
            global warming and climate change."

                He went on to say, "The Green Party, and myself personally, strongly
            believe that whatever the problems in the public health care system,
            and there are many, they have to be resolved within the public
            system. We totally oppose private health care. Our problems in the
            public health care system will not be solved by creating a private
            alternative, accessible only for those who can pay. Recently four
            very experienced OR nurses in the Truro hospital left to work at a
            private clinic in Dartmouth. While their decision involved a number
            of issues, the crucial point is that any 'private' health care can
            only exist by poaching nurses and doctors from the public health care
            system and thus helping to further undermine it."  So when private
            health care is being advocated as an individual 'solution' to a
            person's health problem, the overall collective system which serves
            all of us is undermined.

                There are other issues that need to be addressed to improve health
            care. Orton intends to try and raise these issues in Central Nova.

            - Orton said "The Green Party stresses health prevention and
            ecosystem health, but the federal and provincial governments
           'legally' allow the discharges of chemical toxins from pulp and paper
            mills, from power plants and from manufacturing plants which use
            numerous toxic chemicals. (See on the internet the National Pollutant
            Release Inventory, for discharges by the various industrial plants in
            Pictou County.) While there may be some token treatment of wastes
            that are discharged, all these plants degrade and contaminate our
            local environment. A blind eye is foolishly turned by our so-called
            regulatory agencies like the departments of the Environment and
            Health, 'because we need the jobs'. We are often told, for example,
            that the sulphur stench from the local pulp mill is 'the smell of
            money.' This pollution has to end. Many of us have come to see a
            relationship between smog-forming pollutants from industrial plants
            and increasing asthma rates in the population."

            - Orton stressed, based on over 20 years of environmental activism in
            this region, "What also has to end is the widespread 'legal' use of
            biocide poisons e.g. the herbicides and insecticides used by the
            forest industry, the herbicides, insecticides and fungicides used on
            blueberry fields and on Christmas tree plantations, the many
            pesticides used by farmers, and the cosmetic pesticides used on lawns
            and golf courses. These chemicals ultimately pollute the bodies of
            humans, as well as those of plants and animals, as they are
            discharged into the land, air or marine environments and into our
            communities. To have a sustainable health care system and a healthy
            population, we need a sustainable society, not one that is routinely
            contaminated and that degrades the world around us."

            - There are social justice issues involved with adequate public
            health care, said Orton, "We need to encourage more health education,
            improve housing, provide accessibility to low-income housing, and
            address poverty-related issues, specially child poverty, as they all
            affect health. Mental health issues must be brought out of the closet
            and taken seriously as pressing concerns for many citizens."

            - There is also the issue of personal responsibility for one's own
            health and health care which cannot be overlooked, said Orton: "This
            means eating a healthy diet, and taking part in regular exercise. It
            means putting away the ATV and snowmobile for health reasons, as well
            as for their impact on wild animals, other people and the
            environment. We should not expect the health care system to 'save' us
            from our overindulgence in food, smoking and drinking, and a
            self-imposed couch potato lifestyle."

            - "As a senior myself," said Orton, "I would also like to raise the
            subject of needing a full public discussion on learning to age
            gracefully and to not expect chemical and surgical interventions to
            continue until the day we enter the coffin. As one becomes older the
            body does deteriorate and we must learn to accept this."


            Authorized by the Official Agent for David Orton

            Mark A. Brennan
            Campaign Manager for The Green Party Candidate for Central Nova, David Orton
            Phone Central Nova Campaign Manager (902) 396 4397
            Green Party Candidate, David Orton (925) 925 2514
            Email David Orton:

            "Make Peace With Nature, Vote Green"

            Back to
            Election Campaign Press Releases

                Last updated: January 29, 2006