Time zone change affects health care


Oh how Professor Pavlov would have loved Mr. Anawak! The telephone rings and he salivates! Listening to the radio this morning, I heard Mr. Anawak extolling the virtues of the one time zone scheme for Nunavut.

As far as I could make out, the only, the sole reason he could come up with was to allow a bureaucrat in the East to telephone a colleague in the West without either of them having to think about the time or — Heaven forbid! — stay late at his desk.

Change, as Mr Anawak pointed out, will always engender some opposition — and such debate is healthy. I am not sure this scheme has been the subject of sufficient debate. I suspect that the pressure for the proposed change came from the bureaucrats who have advised their political masters of the manifold benefits (to themselves) of one time zone.

Are our public officials such slaves to technology that to be deprived of instant electronic access to their confreres gives them a panic attack? How many government functions require such immediate communication? If there is such a need, is it such an imposition on that government functionary to make that phone call after five o’clock?

I find this scheme to be very inward-looking to the extent of ignoring the outside world and the needs of those who have to deal with it. Perhaps such a change will make it easier or more efficient to govern? How will it affect other areas of our daily lives, which Mr. Anawak states we will have to adjust to?

The businessman in Iqaluit who deals with southern suppliers on a daily basis will have his workday reduced (or shifted) by two hours. The doctor at the hospital who currently can phone Ottawa to reach the specialists who are treating his patients will have that access reduced by two hours.

Which would you rather have, access to medical expertise or the warm feeling that the government can manage your affairs without the need for some overtime now and then?

The excuse Mr Anawak gives for the change is that the existing time zones were imposed on us by bureaucrats. This, seemingly, makes it alright for a change to be imposed on us by another group of bureaucrats.

C. Pastori

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