Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Warm, fuzzy conservatism

Speaking of "altruism", Joanne at BLY hits on an example of Conservative warm-heartedness:
... the prime minister's government is also quietly bankrolling one of the largest social pilot projects ever seen in Canada, paying generously for cutting-edge research that is changing the lives of hundreds of homeless people.
... taking their cue from Harper, officials decided to zero in on a sub-group: the mentally ill.
... Then they narrowed their focus further. In five cities across the country, they targeted a particularly vulnerable sector of the mentally ill homeless population.
Interesting story, but I have trepidations. As long as this is research oriented, limited in scope and under Conservative watch I don’t mind the feds taking the lead. The targeted group is certainly the most deserving of help. And it beats the hell out of “safe injection sites”. However, how long will it be before this morphs into an unsustainable “national strategy” to fulfill the peoples’ bogus “right to housing”. A Lib/Dipper coalition would certainly attempt to turn it into that in a heartbeat - shades of their National Daycare Plan.

... When governments, both federal and provincial, see the final results, he is convinced they will see the need to take housing-first to a national scale and someone will step up with funding.
And don’t proponents of these schemes always promise that they will be saving a pile of money? Sure they do:

"Once it's finished, we're going to make sure that every government in the country knows we saved them a whole pile of money,"
Be afraid.


dmorris said...

I don't worry,yet,that this is anything more than an attempt to right the wrongs of all the Provincial governments who closed down Mental Health facilities in the 80's and 90's.

The Provinces certainly haven't made any effort to re-establish MH wards,and our streets are full of mentally ill people euphemistically called"the homeless". Most haven't had a "home" in years and have nowhere to go.

It's an example of Harper's decency that he's trying to do something,while Provincial governments talk and talk,and do little else.

Why is THIS "hidden agenda" of Harper's not being given more MSM publicity? Are they afraid they might have to ask embarrassing questions of various Liberal and NDP Premiers?

We'll see how it turns out,but for the present, I'm glad this crisis is finally being addressed.

Frances said...

I think you'll find similar projects being tried in other cities, not just federally funded. I've seen articles in the local paper talking about such an initiative. It seems that, for a lot of the homeless, just having a place to call their own does somewhat ameliorate their issues. Other help is required, and may well be on a long-term basis, but problems are lessened.

JR said...

All good points. The mentally ill need help. But I still have trepidations. We'll see how it works out under Conservative stewardship but this will give cover to future left/lib governments looking to expand the (non)mandate. Mental health isn't something that falls under federal jurisdiction (neither is daycare) and "national strategies" make me nervous - they tend to turn into unsustainable messes (think "Canada Health Act").

Alain said...

At the risk of sounding hard-hearted I am opposed to yet another federal incursion into provincial jurisdiction. I agree that the provinces failed in following the liberal idea of turning the mentally ill out into the streets, supposedly to integrate them into society. Let the provinces clean up their own mess and keep the federal government out.

JR said...

I tend to agree, Alain, but it usually falls to conservatives to point the way to cleaning up liberal messes. As long as they stick to 'research' and not get sucked into perpetual fed funding of this maybe it'll be worthwhile.