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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Jim Flaherty, Work, Social Value and Mental Health

This is an interesting insight into Jim Flaherty’s thinking.  It fits with his pattern of snipping at opposition, snipping at the provinces, snipping at anyone that disagrees with him, frankly.  I’ve see this time and again – people who have struggled don’t think others should have support.  Is this because the person being asked truly feels that it’s better to suffer through hardship, or is it that they don’t want others to have advantages they themselves missed out on?

Each generation should strive to make life better for the one that follows.  This generation is the first in Canadian history that won’t see that trend continued.

I think the underlying problem of the Flaherty approach – and the generational gap we’re facing – is that when you put your own interest first, everything gets weighed against the value for the person.  That’s limited thinking.  We have so many shortages of specialization in Canada – why on earth would we want to force people to cling to the bottom rung?  Given Flaherty's commitment to supporting people with mental illness and combatting the stigma around mental health, this must be a difficult issue for him; his approach to work runs directly contrary to current understandings about the impact of work on mental health.

The solution isn’t sink-or-swim, nor is it keeping everyone afloat – it’s about teaching people to fish.

If Jim Flaherty disagrees, he should ask himself this – is Canada better off having him as a politician or a taxi driver?

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