Send your letters to

A tale of two privatizations

To the Editor,

Charles Dickens had his Tale of Two Cities. I have a tale of two privatizations which benefitted no one — except possibly the stock and bond traders.

In the last edition of the Times, Bill Sundhu mentioned Connaught labs. Here’s a brief history:

Established in 1914 in the University of Toronto to produce live rabies vaccines and horse antitoxins for diptheria. In 1922, when Frederick Banting and Charles Best came out with insulin, Connaught was there producing 95 per cent of Canada’s insulin. During World War II, Connaught prepared blood plasma and was one of the earliest to produce penicillin.

When Jonas Salk generously gave his polio vaccine to the world, Connaught enabled the ability for mass trials.

In 1981 when Mel Hartig’s Canadian Encyclopedia was printed, Connaught Laboratories was going “great guns.” Centered in Toronto with branches in Truro, N.S. and Pennsylvania, the future was bright as could be so what happened? Well, Brian Mulroney and privatize-this-that-and-the-other-nonsense happened.

Connaught was privatized, hived off and bought by a French company. Connaught simply disappeard.

The second privatization story — we’ll have to go half way around the world and ‘down under.’

At one time in the beginning of the internet, Australia was right on top, rated third or fourth in the world! Pretty good, eh? But the Australian company was public-owned. Oh no, the Feds have got our net honours! So this company, whose name has slipped my mind, was hived off and privatized (Editor’s note: The company is Telstra, Australia’s biggest telecom company, and was privatized in 1997).

There’s problem here like many other early communications systems it runs on copper wire. The copper wire is old and leaky. It has to be replaced by fibre optics.

The expense would be too much for the investors — Kevin Rudd (Editor’s note: Rudd was Australia’s 26th Prime Minister) had a scheme for an entirely different net system with modern fibre optics. But Rudd and his Labour government got shot down in flames.

So now Australians live with a net that is now rated 50th on the planet.

And we Canadians are at the mercy of Big Pharma. The same Big Pharma that the late John le Carre stated the crimes by Big Pharma are the best example of the saying the problem with the end of the Cold War, “The right side lost but the wrong side won.”

Dennis Peacock,

Clearwater, B.C.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to Stoney and Minnie lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

(Submitted photo)
The deadly divide

To the Editor, Years of progress in eliminating poverty around the world… Continue reading

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Most Read