Image from: Stories of the Uninsured
Killing Me Softly with OHIP
My summer afternoon at Service Ontario
Or: What is a blog for if not to speak one's mind?
Apropos of the story of my day, there was a one-minute power outage due to a thunder clap after I had written several paragraphs of this screed. Lesson learned - save your work every two seconds.
I have also finally learned my lesson about Service Ontario, a misnomer if ever I heard one.
I've just come back from two very long bus rides to and from their offices, and I'll tell you what transpired there, but first: an earlier interaction with Service Ontario happened a couple of years ago when I had written to OHIP to let them know my address change. I had the envelope on me, in case I came upon a mailbox, when I found myself with a friend in a mall on the outskirts of town that contained a Service Ontario office. I proffered the envelope to the receptionist who refused to receive it saying that I needed to take a number and that the wait time was currently one hour.
My mouth hung open until my friend ordered coffees for us in a shop down the corridor and I had to close it enough to take a sip.
Having put all that behind me, and now having to renew my OHIP card, I chose to go to the Service Ontario office on the opposite side of town. I had no idea where it was, so the bus driver, who was going off duty anyway, made an unscheduled stop for me and pointed out the hallowed edifice. I could have kissed him.
Lately I feel so grateful for small kindnesses and, out of necessity, have learned to tolerate a growing lack of concern for the niceties. Most people can't see you or hear you because they are looking at a phone and their ears are stopped up with what I believe are called "buds" -- or else they are representatives of the government.
At Service Ontario I waited in a slow lineup to get permission to take a number and wait some more, which by the look of the crowd was going to be quite a while. I can do this, I said to myself.
But when my turn came to justify my presence in that holy of holies, I was again turned away; this time for not having acceptable documentation to prove that I am not an illegal alien or just trying to pull some sort of "fast one" to get a government freebie.
My OHIP card, which I use only in case I need a checkup to get my reading glasses updated, is going to expire next month (ironic that it expires on one's birthday -- happy birthday, eh?)
I knew I needed proof of address, so I had brought with me a recently signed Notice of Rent Increase from my landlord, plus the renewal form that was mailed to my current address by the provincial government. I also had my Passport as proof of identity and citizenship, my current OHIP photo card, and a credit card with my name on it.
Not good enough. They wanted my original apartment lease - signed over 2 years ago during which time I could have moved - or else the assessment letter I received after filing my income tax - dated over six months ago during which time I could have moved. I was sure they wouldn't want outdated proof, so I left them at home.
Couldn't show them a credit card bill or a bank statement because that's done online and they won't take a printout. My tenant insurance is also now "paperless" and done either online or by email.
How about my utility bill, they asked? Also done online. And that's a whole nother story!
Okay, I'll bore you with it:
My rent does not include heat or electricity -- but I have paid nothing - nada - for heat and electricity in my small apartment for some months now. I had applied for OESP (Ontario Electricity Support Plan) due to being a senior citizen with a reduced income, and expected it to pay a portion of my utility costs -- not to continually overpay the whole bill. My utility account now contains -- get this -- a credit balance of going on $400.00, and I can't help wondering who it is that collects the interest on this waste of tax payer dollars! Before the recent provincial election I inquired of my local Liberal MPP about this, and they promised to get back to me, but failed to win the election so slid off the hook. Since then I have twice emailed the new NDP MPP - on the 10th of July and the 3rd of August - and have not even been favoured by an acknowledgement of receipt of my query. Too busy learning how to actually be an MPP? Perhaps most OESP recipients would turn a blind eye to this windfall (for whom?), but I have this annoying problem with conscience and doing what seems right.
Back to my OHIP saga. They asked for my driver's licence. Seriously, does anybody really want me driving a car at the age of 78? Even I knew that I should stop when I saw that my reflexes were not what they should be. I really am not keen on taking a chance of maiming or killing someone.
I was, however, assured at my last eye exam that my vision is acceptable for driving and that was good for a chuckle.
So, to make a long story longer: I couldn't satisfy the needs of Service Ontario, and they wouldn't assign me the number that would have enabled me to wait for an additional undetermined time. Clearly, I did not deserve to have an OHIP card.
When I'm 80, apparently I can do the renewal by mail. Wow, I can't wait. Seriously, that's too long a wait to take a chance on my still being alive on the magic day. One gets used to knowing that one is living on borrowed time and it's deliciously scary.
I'm not always dignified when unfairly thwarted, but this time I made a point of speaking quietly before vacating the hallowed offices of "Service" Ontario. "I have not seen a doctor in over 20 years", I said, "and have saved the province a pile of money. I only wanted the OHIP card in case I need an eye exam, but I suppose I can do without that as well."
The woman who had been summoned to verify the clerk's assessment of my credentials just walked away, and the clerk whispered, "Sorry". The whole room full of people stared at me in dazed confusion as I headed for the door instead of taking up a wait position.
I had no idea when the next bus would arrive, and it was stinking hot outside, and I shouldn't be in the sun anyway because I have no skin pigment to absorb the UV rays, so it was a godsend that, as I was crossing the road, the bus I needed stopped at the red light. The driver let me on and I came dangerously close to kissing him, but only said that I wanted to, and he laughed.
I'm going to see if there's a place that will accept cash for an eye exam. If successful, then all I have to do is hope, should I suffer a stroke, that I kick-off immediately so they don't kill me at the hospital by peppering me with all sorts of panic questions about my OHIP card.
Maybe I'll just print this screed out and staple it to my chest.
Below Image: Just because I like it.
* * * * * * * *
----> NEW Oct 17
BIZARRE: Judge orders Pastor Artur Pawlowski to condemn himself LINK
VIDEO: Pfizer Scientist Confronted Over 'Natural Immunity' Admission - LINK
VIDEO:The Big Lie Enslaves the World @
LINK MORE AT:
"Academy of Ideas"- LINK
VIDEO: "GLOBAL GENOCIDE"
Israeli Vera Sharav with Reiner Fuellmich - LINK
See more here:
* * * * * * * *
- Covid's Perennial Garden
- The Cure is too often Worse than the Disease 17/10/21
- Just the facts, folks ...
Photo by Brian O'Connor, North Bay
QUOTE of the MONTH:
"Surgite!" (Latin: Push on!) Brock University motto attributed to Sir Isaac Brock, mortally wounded in War of 1812 . (Thanks to M.R.)
*** NOTICES ***
HASSAN DIAB CASE
FRANCE ORDERS TRIAL LINK
JOIN CAMPAIGN FOR OUTREACH TO PARLIAMENTARIANS
FREE ASSANGE NOW! LINK
Follow the trial(s) of Julian Assange LINK
* Blogger: "GREENCROW as the crow flies" has been "found in violation of Google Blogger Terms of Service".
DRUTHERS: If I had my druthers, we all would know the truth - - LINK
50 Yrs of Failed Predictions
* DR. ROGER HIGGS *
ResearchGate: Global warming/cooling for past 2,000 yrs mimic Sun's magnetic activity, not CO2.
PROJECT LOG: LINK
CANADA HEALTH ALLIANCE Standing Up For Health Freedom! LINK
Constitutional Rights Centre Inc.(CRC) LINK
Prosecutor Rocco Galati on Twitter. LINK
Ontario Civil Liberties Assoc.- OCLA LINK
LEADING CAUSES OF DEATHS IN CANADA
WorldAtlas - LINK
CHYCHO LIVE: Current Events & Much More LINK
JUSTICE FOR MOHAMED HARKAT:
Stop Moe Harkat’s deportation to torture LINK
Will We Allow Canada To Deport Mohamed Harkat To Torture? ... HuffPost
The True North Not So Free ... YYC:
Moe needs help with his legal costs. Visit here to donate online.
11 examples how IHRA definition threatens free speech and aims to silence Palestinian solidarity... LINK
PCHR: Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory LINK
Israel’s War Criminals in Their Own Words LINK
Miko Peled: The State of Israel Will Crumble LINK
Does Israel "own"
America; Netanyahu thinks so. video
Jewish Voice for Peace:
Israel Palestine Conflict 101
Arch. & Eng. for 9/11 Truth
Canada Palestine Assoc.
CDNs for Justice & Peace in the Middle East
Count Me Out (of census)
Famous Canadian Women
Friends of Science
GREENCROWAs The Crow Flies
IF NOT NOW
Israel Palestine News
Jewish Voice for Peace
Justice for Mohamed Harkat
Justice for Hassan Diab
Palestine Photo Project
Truth and Shadows
Vaccine Choice Canada
Vit.D,Covid-19 & Me