Letter to the Residents of Sault Ste. Marie by Local Physician Association

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letter to the editor

Dear respected citizens of Sault Ste. Marie,

The Algoma West Academy of Medicine (AWAM) is a local physician organization which represents doctors across all specialties in Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding area.

AWAM would like to bring some of Prime Minister Trudeau’s recent negative comments about physicians to the attention of our community.

In a recent session of Question Period, the Prime Minister attacked the opposition parties for supporting physician efforts to oppose proposed tax changes which will affect how physicians deliver services, ultimately impacting patient care. The Prime Minister stated the following:

“The member opposite and indeed the entire opposition has been going around the country telling every doctor they meet that they stand with them, that they will defend their rights to pay lower taxes than the nurses who work alongside those doctors. We don’t think that’s fair, but if the members opposite do want to stand with wealthy doctors, will they commit right now, to restore the system of tax breaks for wealthy individuals after we make the changes that Canadians expect us to do?”

The Algoma West Academy of Medicine unequivocally denounces this statement by Prime Minister Trudeau. We find that his words are exceptionally disrespectful to the physicians of Sault Ste. Marie, who continually go above and beyond to serve the health and wellness needs of our community.

AWAM would like to know why the Prime Minister refuses to support physicians in delivering high quality patient care in our community, unlike the opposition parties.

AWAM finds it dishonourable that the Prime Minister is pitting physicians against nurses, based purely on his party’s political philosophy to change tax laws. We interpret these comments as an attempt to dilute the critical collaborative relationship that local physicians and nurses share in caring for patients together in our region. It is not true that nurses pay more in taxes than physicians do. Physicians pay the same personal income tax as any Canadian would in the same tax bracket. Incorporated physicians pay a corporate tax on any funds remaining within their corporation, in addition to whatever personal income tax they pay. Your local front line nurses and doctors are more interested in working together to provide high quality medical care for the residents of Sault Ste. Marie, than we are comparing our amounts owing to the Canada Revenue Agency.

We resent the Prime Minister labelling our profession as “wealthy doctors.” We find this comment to be derogatory and largely untrue. Sault Ste. Marie has some of the most skilled and most compassionate physicians anywhere. Your local doctors work extremely hard for this community. Most doctors would laugh if someone referred to them as being wealthy. It is not uncommon for doctors to have over $250 000 in student debt. Whatever financial wealth doctors accumulate over a long career comes because doctors have made a career choice to put our patients before ourselves. We do not view this as a negative, but truly as a privilege and an honour. Unlike most doctors, Prime Minister Trudeau is actually very wealthy. Can the Prime Minister honestly state that he accumulated his personal wealth spending a lifetime putting others before himself?  We did not note in the press reports of his holiday vacation that any “wealthy doctors” accompanied his family on their holiday with one of the world’s wealthiest billionaires.

The federal Liberal government is proposing changes to tax laws which will negatively affect small businesses.  Unlike salaried employees, small business owners, including physicians, do not get benefits, a pension, paid vacation, sick time or paid breaks at work. In order to compensate for these conditions, many physicians work as incorporated contractors. This is similar to how farmers and other small businesses operate. Small businesses are the cornerstone of the Canadian economy. All small businesses, including physicians, will be negatively affected by the proposed tax changes.

AWAM would like to warn the residents of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma that if the proposed tax laws are passed, there is a very real risk that doctors will decide to move to other jurisdictions to practice medicine. It will make recruitment of future physicians more difficult.  If these proposed tax laws are passed, Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma may face further physician shortages, which will lead to longer wait times, delays in care and increases in morbidity and mortality in Sault Ste. Marie and area.

AWAM is perplexed as to why the Prime Minister would choose to attack physicians in his comments and make changes to laws that could precipitate a national physician shortage.

The Algoma West Academy of Medicine demands an apology from Prime Minister Trudeau for his regrettable comments towards physicians. Sault Ste. Marie’s physicians do not condone this type of ignorance from our Prime Minister.

We would also humbly ask the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie to consider the risk that the community could lose physicians if the federal government pushes through the proposed tax changes. AWAM encourages you to phone the MP and MPP in Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma if you share our concerns about the true threat of further physician shortages in our community.

Respectfully,

Dr. Timothy J. Best and Dr. Luke A. Fera, on behalf of the Algoma West Academy of Medicine

10 COMMENTS

  1. Knowledge is power right? How many people have 1 clue about the tax act? Worse yet is how many DO NOT KNOW how much their collective tax bill is? When huge numbers of taxpayers pay 50 to 60% is there any revolt? Why? These huge numbers of tax payers need knowledge don’t they? If 50 % of your incomes are gouged away from you – please learn how to think NET OK? Not gross . OH YA some more knowledge!
    Did you know we pay the top big shot exec. at CPP 4.5 million per YR.? The other top 4 get 3 million+ YR. Civil servants? Yes! Did you know 3800 lawyers took from payroll over 50 million in extra benefits over 8 years and called it an error? Has this been paid back yet? NO? Payroll theft is a crime isn’t it? Did you know that we paid over 100 million to the class action rcmp sex assault victims? Did you know Mr. J. Khadr Trudeau paid out over 10 million to a terrorist that was busy killing others? Did you know Canada’s reputation as the biggest money launderer with 125 tax treaties is corrupt worldwide? Do you know WHO benefits from these scams? Not you? Didn’t think so. If Canadians are extremely aware about one thing it is this- They know this scam is rigged against us!
    If anyone wants to level this field please question everything !! There is a new player that KNOWS how to level it!

  2. We all know that the libs have to go as soon as humanly possible as they are akin to a train wreck, but you can’t tell me that any good doctors that have been around for a few decades are not millionaires.

    If not they have squandered their savings like the libs are doing with billions of dollars of our tax money, in a horribly irresponsible manner.

    My local longtime doctor and friend is very close to his third million in the bank, and that is after paying to put his kids through college.

    Trudeau is way out of his comfort zone and knowledge to be in the shoes that he is currently TRYING to fill.
    He needs to go, but the doctors need to pay their fair share of taxes, also.

  3. and here I sit with back and neck injury, and I have no stable HEALTH CARE PROVIDER?? not now or in the near future from the GHC???? what is going on with hiring the many nurse practioners or newly designated doctors?

  4. Hypocrisy can be a real leveler, of course, especially when it comes in the form of a gift horse.
    Why, for example, would our prime minister, a trust-fund baby from the get-go, have three registered businesses — the one for his speaking engagements now apparently defunct — if it were not for the tax advantages that such private corporations offer?
    It begs an answer.
    Did he incorporate to limit his liability for business risk ???? Was it to save tax or defer paying tax to a later date because the small-business corporate tax rate for the first half-million earned is around 13%, as compared to a top personal tax rate of about 44% ????
    Sunny ways, yes folks, for justin trudeau……………………….

  5. Yes, trudeau tells us that he does not deal, personally, with his family’s massive FORTUNE because justin, after all, is so transparent and truthful to Canadians. trudeau is, quite simply, like his provincial partner, wynne, sticking his little pinkie into the air and seeing which way the wind blows. And right now, justin sees a lot of Canadians believing that we must go after this 1% of the population and ding them hard & ding them hard. Plain & simple folks.
    Yes folks, everyone should pay their fair share, but this communication nightmare that these liberals are orchestrating should, I believe, come back and bite them where it hurts most, in 2019.

  6. Really coming from a plastic surgeon, get real. Just a cult of doctors with nothing to worry about the collectively money. Of an organization that interest ate themselves.

  7. so how much exactly are these non ” wealthy doctors ” making, cause I am curious to know how they are struggling. Yes, OSAP is a pain, but it is what you signed up as a trade to do. Same with aviation students and other people. They pay for their profession through grants (provided by the gov’t) OSAP (provided by the gov’t initially) and other bursaries to suppliment their cost to make the “big bucks”. Do you think that doctors don’t require good grades or something? But when it comes time to pay the piper, they scurry to other juristictions.

    Shorter wait times my left cheek. Still waiting 2 hours to be transfered into another room to wait another 20-30 minutes. Mr. Trudeau is correcting a situation that benefits select financial groups that should have been corrected a long time ago. Now, I can’t say the same for wynn, I think she needs to go. And as for Mr. Trump, I agree with his course of action. Maybe not in his delivery, but in his actions. There is a VERY real threat to not only the USA but to the whole northern american continent. A nuke goes off to the south, but wouldnt stay in the south. If there is a test from north korea over the ocean, we will feel it here. If there is a missle that is intercepted, we will feel it here. I support the bulk of Trudeau’s action’s. Granted there has been a few questionable moments, but very few people are perfect.

    • um. exactly what does Trump, nuke’s and missles have to do with income tax laws for Dr.’s?

      And yes, OSAP is a pain, but a DR. goes to school for 8-12 years AFTER high school… Undregrad, usually a masters, then Med school. Plus residency.

      So, if the average Canadian with a university degree makes around $55-60000/year…

      Does it not make sense, and along with basic math, that if a DR. has 3X the education, they will make 3X more?

      Trudeau is using ignorance to ignore this basic principle.

      You want to talk about injustice, how about all the banks/insurance companies who make BILLIONS a year, and pay little to no tax.

      As for you long wait times, maybe if the gov’t Helped Dr.’s, they would be more inclined to enter the field, open practices, and relocate to communities such as the Soo, where there is a desperate need.

      Did you know 1 in 5 Canadians, 20%, have NO family Dr.

      There is a dire need for Dr.’s, and the gov’t should be encouraging them, rather than discouraging them.

  8. I for one, would like to say that I support all doctors here in the Sault, as well as elsewhere in Ontario because I do in fact know each and every statement written by these two doctors to be the absolute truth. If others within the community or elsewhere have had someone close to them attend Medical School, you will know only too well how much many doctors end up owing straight out of medical school and doctors need to pay so many expenses out of the money they do receive. Many are struggling to keep their heads above water. We as members of this community and as concerned citizens both locally and province wide, need to support our doctors 100%…. Like right now!! Don’t wait until you or a family member needs medical help and then you find out that there is no doctor on call…Why?? Because they all left because Mr. Trudeau made it impossible for them to stay. The life these doctors save just might be our own.

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