Sunday, August 21, 2016

Showing Some Balls

Did I miss anything important while on holidays?

Okay, I jest. I half-heartedly followed the August 14th it-must-have-seemed-like-an-eternity-five-hour(!) OMA General Meeting on Twitter, throwing in a wiseass comment or two for good measure.

I'd hoped to post my thoughts on the OMA meeting and vote earlier, but 1) I didn't get home until after midnight on Friday (thank you, highway 401 construction), and 2) no way was I going to bother with blogging on the night of the final Tragically Hip concert. #Courage4Gord

By now the outcome of the OMA meeting and vote is widely known. The doctors overwhelmingly rejected the tentative deal negotiated between the OMA and the province. As a consequence, senior members of the OMA Board have stepped down from the negotiations committee, and it looks like the OMA will be upending its negotiations strategy and processes going forward.

As is the norm in these sorts of situations, the post-mortems are coming in fast and furious. Can the OMA rebuild trust among its membership, considering how bitter the infighting turned near the end? The doctors were voicing their opposition to the Wynne government's mismanagement! The doctors were thinking only of themselves! It was a statement in political partisanship! The problem is the system, that we will only fix with an even more nightmarishly complicated funding model! And so on and so forth.

I'm glad I was on holidays for the bitter end. For the record, we took the kids to Barbados, our favorite island in the Caribbean. It's clean, it's safe, it's where we honeymooned, plus it has snorkeling with sea turtles and Mount Gay rum.

The other thing Barbados has is some outstanding island hospitality. I have nothing but accolades, especially for "Anton" and "Jimmy-John Christmas", who graciously offered me weed, counterfeit Viagra, and a jaunt to the local "tittie bar", all in the same conversation! How can you top that kind of welcoming friendship?

If you've ever been to a Caribbean resort, though, you know that one thing you're bound to see in and around the open-air restaurants is a stray cat or two. Sure enough, our hotel had three of them, one of them that had no qualms about showing off the fact that it was absolutely, definitely, 100% male.

Yes, each and every morning, and at quite a few dinners I was treated to the sight of impressive, front-and-center cat balls. While they didn't interfere with the enjoyment of my morning coffee, I gotta say - those cat balls are a wee bit unappetizing around the hors d'oeurves.

And I also gotta say, I give the doctors that voted "no" to the tentative deal credit. It takes some balls to reject a deal without a clear alternative way forward. It takes some balls to take your own association to court in the throes of a major vote campaign. And it takes some balls to challenge and discredit the leadership that's your only voice in the eyes of the government.

But a cat's still gotta eat. Without a guaranteed source of nutrition, that Barbados stray - balls or no balls - still came around begging every day.

Will the doctors be glad they showed their balls? Time will tell.

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