By Letter to the Editor on September 13, 2017.
I am sad to say that today I am disappointed to call myself a nurse. The recent statement by the Canadian Nurses Association supporting the tax amendments proposed by the Trudeau government is wrong. I do not support this statement, nor do any of the nurses I work with or have worked with over the past 20 years of my career. To say that nurses just want people to pay their fair share of taxes, pointing fingers at the physicians we work with, is ridiculous.
First off, I went to school for four years to earn my Bachelor of Nursing degree. Most doctors I know of have at least three times that number of years of schooling behind them. Now that being said, a doctor doesn’t get paid on their years of school attended but the fact that they are using the knowledge they gained during those years to protect and save lives. Most physicians in Alberta are incorporated businesses which allows them some tax breaks, but the reality of it is that the building costs and staff salaries are solely borne out of pocket of the physician that employs them. The government doesn’t help with this. Doctors here in Alberta, and most of the rest of Canada, don’t receive supplementary health benefits, pensions, mat leave and many more of the aspects which we the public generally take for granted.
I already know of a physician that left practice and moved to the U.S. and tripled her salary as well as received a benefits package including pension and health benefits. By making this blanket statement stating that CNA represents 139,000 members and that we all agree with your position on the tax laws, makes us look bad in the eyes of the public and, more so, the colleagues we work with. The physicians have supported us for years through various contract negotiations and when something comes that affects them, the CNA essentially throws them under the bus?
I would ask that the CNA amends the statement it made to not include me in this as I do not support it. Better yet, remove the statement entirely and apologize to its members for making assumptions about our thoughts in this matter and that we support the physicians and small business owners in being against these proposed tax changes.
Dave Zeeb, RN BN
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