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Diane Finley – a modern day Marie Antoinette.

This is the first chance I’ve had to publicly comment on something since last Sunday, and the thing I’ve chosen to comment on is Human Resources Cabinet Minister Diane Finley; or more accurately, her statements on the Liberals just announced Home Care plan:

If Canadians want to take time off work today to care for an elderly or sick relative, they must provide employment insurance with a doctor’s note stating that their loved ones are on the brink of death. No family member wants to think that way; they shouldn’t have to produce such a letter.. Under Ignatieff’s plan, caregivers would be eligible for six months of EI benefits, compared to the current six weeks, and the terminal illness requirement would be dropped. Ignatieff would also offer caregivers a refundable tax benefit, with low- and middle-income earners eligible for up to $1,350 a year to defray the costs of looking after an ailing family member at home.

Amongst other things, Diane Finley chose this line of supposed reasoning in dismissing this proposal and claiming the current situation under the Conservatives is good enough:

There are a number of other devices that people, many employees do have access to in these sorts of situations. Employees do have vacation leave that they can use..

In otherwards, Finley suggests that Canadians don’t need a homecare strategy, because people can simply use their vacation days to take care of sick relatives. Real compassionate there, Diane.

The Liberals homecare announcement has particular poignancy with me, because I’ve recently had a situation in my family where a relative had to take off a year from work in order to take care of her terminally ill cancer-stricken husband. The current six weeks of UI did not help them very much, and they had to depend on others generosity to help support them financially. They certainly did not have enough “vacation time” to aid in that. I know there are plenty of other people and families in the same situation.

Minister Finley seems to be offering up a modern-day version of “Let Them Eat Cake”. I might have once considered this type of response from her and the Conservatives humourous even; but not since the past 13 months. Now I just consider it idiotic/outrageous. Yes, perhaps I’m viewing it partially through a personal lens, but Finley’s gall to use this reasoning has had me fuming this week.

I applaud the Liberals and Ignatieff’s attempts to rectify the lack of financial support for home-care patients (as do other persons and organizations more neutral then I). The Liberal plan may not completely ease caretakers financial worries, but it’s a lot better then what is currently in place. I also hope the Liberals will parade Finley’s comments far and wide to show the Marie-Antoinette attitude she has on this issue, and the fact she and her government would rather keep corporate welfare – corporate tax cuts – in place (which the Liberals would remove and place the money towards financing this plan) then substantially help caretakers.

UPDATE @ 5:40 pm: A loyal reader sent me this picture. It’s apparently been in circulation in some places for a few days, but it goes well with the theme of my particular blogpost:

1 comment to Diane Finley – a modern day Marie Antoinette.

  • Anon ABC

    I would definitely prefer my taxpayer dollars being used to tackle this issue than $16B on fighter jets, $9B on prisons, $1.4B on the G8/20 or security measures for our Parliament which doesn’t even seem capable of keeping out a truculent “Junior” who should have had his car keys taken away from him … ha, ha …

    Welocme back, Scott, we missed your posts.

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