COLUMNS: Film club’s finale

The Cariboo Film Fest last Thursday and Friday marked the end of the film club.

The Cariboo Film Fest last Thursday and Friday not only marked the end of the Williams Lake Film Club’s season, it marked the end of the film club.

After 15 years, Krista Liebe and husband Tihol Tiholov are closing the club.

This will be a double whammy because as well as providing unique entertainment for the community, the club has subsidized a tutoring program for local students with learning problems.

This program, which has helped hundreds of students, will be over in June. The Film Fest was a good way to end, leaving good memories of excellent films with a Cariboo/Chilcotin connection.

Thank you Krista and Tihol for 15 years of fun and service. Hopefully someone will continue your work.

***

News isn’t always new. Some stories have just been ignored for years.

One issue that has resurfaced isn’t Earth shattering, but probably few of us knew how it worked. The issue is extra billing, when a physician or medical clinic charges patients additional amounts of money for medical care covered by the Medical Services Plan.

The Canada Health Act, intended to control extra billing, was passed in 1983 but was rarely enforced.

In 2003 the B.C. government outlawed the practice but the legislation wasn’t enacted because of backlash from physicians. The law remained on the books.

Then along came the Trudeau government. It dusted off Health Canada which audited three private B.C. clinics and estimated that from 2002 to 2015, B.C. patients paid some $15.9 million in extra billing.

Under the Health Act, the feds can withhold that money from transfer payments to B.C. Ouch. NDP Health Minister Dix reacted by unearthing the 2003 law which will let the B.C. government (taxpayers) off the hook for future federal penalties by fining physicians who extra bill. Wait for backlash on this one.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian and book author.

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