Doug Ford inhaled the insect while discussing privatizing Canadian healthcare
Ontario Premier Doug Ford accidentally swallowed a bee in the midst of a Friday press conference in Dundalk, as he discussed the future of Canada’s healthcare system, defusing a potentially tense moment.
After declaring “everything is on the table” regarding the controversial potential privatization of the state-run system, Ford was interrupted by the insect zooming down his gullet.
“Holy Christ, I just swallowed a bee!” he exclaimed, apologizing to the laughing crowd of reporters for the interruption and correctly predicting that video of the show-stealing insect would be “replayed over and over again.”
“Man, he went right down the hatch,” the premier joked. “I’m going to be howling tonight watching this tape… I can’t even remember what we’re talking about, I’ll be rushing to the hospital to get this bee out of here,” he said.
While Ford has insisted Canadians will remain “100 per cent” covered by the national healthcare system, he has called for the province to “get creative” to make ends meet, insisting they can’t “keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.”
Staffing shortages have forced emergency rooms across the country to close, sometimes for days at a time, leading Health Minister Sylvia Jones to threaten to further privatize the system. Ontario has the lowest nurse-per-capita ratio in the country, with just 665 nurses for every 100,000 people.
While Ford and other defenders of increasing the role of private corporations in the healthcare field have insisted services will remain free to all Canadians, critics fear more privatization will create a two-tiered system in which the poor are faced with “poor care, barriers to access,” and longer wait times, while skilled staff flee government clinics to cash in in the private sector.