Friday, November 28, 2014

All Smoke And Mirrors


                                                          marinduquegov.

Julian Fantino announced this week that his government had earmarked $200 million for veterans' mental health services. However, as Michael Harris points out:

Getting the news of the $200 million mental health initiative from Fantino wasn’t just insulting — it was classic Harper media control. The announcement was made on a Sunday, when opposition critics and veterans’ advocates were largely unavailable. The benefit to that strategy is that the story came out just the way the Harper government likes it — without contradiction, criticism or analysis.

There was another, obvious factor behind the announcement’s timing, of course. Coming as it did the day before Auditor General Michael Ferguson lowered the boom on Fantino’s department, the announcement offered the idea (to some) that this is a caring, compassionate government. Whatever Ferguson might say the next day, the public would be left with the impression — that all-important first impression — that Harper was already on it.

And nothing could be further from the truth. The Harper government is in court right now fighting veterans who want to reverse the more egregious shortcomings of the New Veterans Charter. The truth, as it was laid out in Ferguson’s report, is not pretty. The Department of Veterans Affairs ran veterans through a bureaucratic steeplechase towards … nothing. According to the AG, it could not even measure performance outcomes on its own programs to troubled veterans — so it had no idea if any of them were working.

The process veterans have to go through to apply for mental health benefits would baffle Stephen Hawking. People desperate for help have to jump through hoops for eight months before finding out if they even qualify for assistance. Since the day Harper came to power up to the present, more than 3,000 applicants have been turned down.

It's all classic Harper doublespeak. When you get behind the smoke and mirrors, you find there's nothing there.


14 comments:

Rural said...

And we now learn that the $200 million announced will be spread out over 50 years......
Smoke and mirrors indeed Owen.

Bill said...

Another inconvient truth to the Harper-con actions and lies.

Fantino and Haper's calculated, premptive, limited actions and messaging is shamefully predictable here. Harper's politics on this announcement is just another "canary in the mine" example of their only priority.

How the Cons have acted on this issue is how they have acted on all issues. It is always their politics before real solutions, no matter the cost - citizens do not count, only the votes to stay in control. They act only for their own interests and power, not for real solutions. If you cannot be smart then be ruthless.

For all their abuses we need to throw them out before all Canada is shafted.

Owen Gray said...

That's a powerful sentence, Bill, because it captures exactly who these folks are.

"If you cannot be smart, be ruthless."

Owen Gray said...

Fifty years, Rural. And they claim they "have their eye on the future."

mogs moglio said...

"'The system breaks'

In the knife fight that has become the government's approach to litigation, Canadian Bar Association past president Simon Potter says things are nearing a breaking point.

At a constitutional conference in July, he argued that if Parliament continues to be "headstrong" instead of co-operative, "then the system eventually breaks. That's where we're headed if we don't get this fixed."" From--->

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/harper-government-s-legal-setbacks-suggest-strategy-of-confrontation-1.2729421

Harper government for you described well...

Then scroll down and see looming legal battles...

Dana said...

They can treat the veterans like shit forever and they'll still vote for them in significant numbers.

Military intelligence.

The Mound of Sound said...

Harper's Veterans Charter is an abomination. It's designed for bureaucratic convenience, not to meet the needs of wounded veterans.

Veterans Affairs has a great knowledge base from caring for WWII disabled vets. They know how wounds progress as the veteran ages. Small problems become huge challenges with the compounding effects of aging. The veteran who, in youth and middle age, was self-sufficient can be laid low by those same wounds later in life. This can also re-open emotional scars.

My uncle had great difficulty in the final years of his life dealing with unresolved issues from being shot down three times and finally made a POW in WWII.

My father, in his late 80's, went in for 'routine' gall bladder surgery. The surgeon could not foresee that the shrapnel wounds had caused the gall bladder to fuse with the liver. A short procedure turned into 7-hours on the table as they worked to prevent father from bleeding out as they sectioned his liver.

These are just a couple of examples but I know of others. You can't budget for these things. You have to meet the demands as they emerge and sort out the costs afterwards.

mogs moglio said...

$ 200,000,000.00 divided by 50 (years) equals $4,000,000.00 per year or ~$77,000.00 per week and abouut 11,000.00 per day...

How many vets will that help? I think it is a ruse to buy back the vet's vote? The 'Harper Government' won't be around that long...

Owen Gray said...

Let's hope that old definition no longer holds, Dana.

Owen Gray said...

I remember Potter's speech, Mogs. The warning signs are everywhere. But Harper's people are convinced that they will have a long run at
things.

Life seems fine inside the bubble.

Owen Gray said...

None of those things matter, Mound, when you're convinced that a balanced budget is the key to salvation.

Everything and everyone gets thrown under the bus.

mogs moglio said...

Mound of Sound my mother father and uncle also fought in that debacle WWII and would not talk about it, they hid their scars. My uncle in a German POW camp for the entire war because he was captured by German forces with his troop he was a Dutch marine lieutenant on the beaches of Holland. My father managed to make it to England and fought with the Dutch auxiliary to the English Navy. My mom fought in the Dutch underground and her scars were so great when I was a kid in Calgary she would spit if she heard a German accent.

None of the three spoke about their pain but it was obvious to my mom and painfully obvious to me.

We cannot just dump the vets they have gone through hell and need the facilities to be reintegrated into society. The way 'Harper Government' is treating the vets borders on criminal behavior.

Nuff said...

I appreciate your posts Mound...

John B. said...

I recall taking note of the hype the government communicated to the public through the press prior to the announcement. The whole point of the exercise seems to have been just to create another opportunity to get as many as possible of Harper's ministers in front of the cameras without taking into consideration that none of them really had anything to say. Then they just threw something that had to do with veterans' issues together as an afterthought without considering what questions the announcement would invite from anyone attempting to sort out their nonsense.

Owen Gray said...

They've always assumed that image trumps substance, John. But you can only sell that waterfront property in Arizona so many times.