10.05.2010 03:46 PM


Just, sigh.


  1. Steven says:

    OLO: Don’t lose baldder control.

    It’s mountains out of molehills.

    Smoking was, is and always be a an irrestisible, pleasurable habit for many people, even if it kills them.

    Most smokers I know, know it’s bad for them.

    My great aunt smoked a pack a day of unfiltered cigs until she was 80. She had been trying to quit for 20 years. I guesss she could have lived to 120 if she had not smoked.

    Unless the ReformaTories make selling cigarettes and smoking illegal, their comments are hypocritical and meaningless.

    • bigcitylib says:

      And the guy with the cigarette looks far sexxier with the cigarette. You remove the cigarette, he drops from a 5 to a 4. They should have kept the cigarette in.

      • Warren says:

        Let me get this straight:

        1. The first big policy announcement.

        2. It’s about health.

        3. The big first big policy announcement, about health, features a photo of a guy smoking.

        4. The Prime Minister of Canada is thereby handed a golden opportunity to mock the Liberals’ first big policy announcement. He does so, with gusto.

        5. Reporters laugh uproariously at the Liberals for the mistake. It’ll be a source of Conservative merriment for months to come, too.

        Did I leave anything out?

        • Jan says:

          Well, you had Minister Antoinette telling people who need to look after sick parents and/or spouses to use their holiday time. Not the first time she’s done Marie. I think that will stick around longer than the cigarette.

        • Will M. says:

          Yup 2/3rds back the gun registry.

          Cigarette smoke has just vanished.

  2. allegra fortissima says:

    “One memory, at the age of seven or so, involved me sending away for Cancer Society anti-tobacco posters to put up on my bedroom walls. It also involved the younger me praying to God every night, really praying, that my parents would not smoke – my mother, cigarettes sometimes, my father cigars and pipes. If the prayers didn’t work – which they didn’t, not for a long time – I would find their tobacco and quietly throw it in the garbage.”

    Smart Kid!

  3. Sean says:

    any day you are air brushing your policy piece is a bad, bad, bad, bad, bad day.

    • Warren says:

      That’s my point, too. But all over the Internet, Libs think it’s funny and/or not a biggie.

      So why airbrush it out, then?

      • Sean says:

        yes, very very funny stuff…. about as funny as the bus breaking down… almost as funny as the abortion vote… definitely funnier than the Narnia ads… but not quite as funny as flip flopping on EI. Liberals should be laughing at this just like the Red Sox laughed when Bill Buckner missed that lazy ground ball that cost them the World Series. Hah… hah… hah…

  4. David says:

    At least it wasn’t a joint…Actually, that would have been better.

  5. smelter rat says:

    That’s what happens when you let the kids run the business.

  6. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    I’m with gritchik — buonanotte, “Mrs. Campbell”…

    • allegra fortissima says:

      Yes, gritchick is pretty cool. And smart. I don’t always agree with her, but smart she is.

      There is one thing Chicks, Sugars and Mrs.Campbells have in common: they don’t like Irish pyjamas-tantrums.

      Keep this in mind, Ronnie!

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        With respect, my Irish is up because this strikes me as Communications 101 (and I didn’t even major in it!). I don’t want to speak for Warren but I understand his exasperation. I’m rather teed off myself. They really need to get it together over there.

  7. Bernie says:

    How do you know it wasn’t? Maybe he’s a licensed MMAR patient smoking a Health Canada supplied joint.

  8. On the bright side, at least this might distract some people from the cost.

    • Namesake says:

      Speaking of distracted, let’s not let the uncompassionate pretend that subsidizing family members caregiving expenses are the only costs to consider here, when dealing with terminal diseases.

      As with the “aging in place” programs (where people get home supports rather than being institutionalized), this could very well save money, if people get palliative care for up to 6 months at home with a family member caregiver making a max. of, what, $12.55/hr. or whatever EI tops out at, now, and just for an 8 hr. shift, not 24/7, compared to hospital, hospice, or home care costs, all of which cost many times more to the public system.

      It’s just that Harper has this near-pathological Protestant work ethic fuelled hatred of people even being able to collect Employment Insurance that’s blinding him to the wisdom of looking at alternative models of our over-medicalization of the inevitable death process.

  9. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    I’m pleased to see this version of our program. One thing that troubles me is — financed family members or not, unfortunately, in some cases one person follows another rather quickly to the grave: caregiver stress is an intimate acquaintance of both heart disease and cancer…

    • Namesake says:

      There’s a few things involved here: yes, the stress of caregiving can itself be unhealthy, and so there is a need for respite care & other supports to deal with burnout; and, no, we don’t want to offload all the burdens onto family members, particularly if they’re unwilling to take this on (this shouldn’t be a mandatory program).

      But let’s be clear, this offloading is already happening to a large degree, and is going to, increasingly so (e.g., pretty much all the boomers with remaining parents are going to be dealing with this over the next 10 years if they aren’t already, plus there are plenty of terminal illnesses which strike people of all ages), it’s just that it’s especially punitive now, since too many have to wipe out all their sick leave (if any) and take a leave of absence or even lose their jobs altogether w/o this counterpart to parental leave.

      And regarding the phenomenon you mention of the surviving partners tending to die in fairly close succession to their loved one:

      I’m not so sure how much of that is attributable to the stress of the caregiving duties per se, so much as to the pain of the loss.

      So to gauge and attenuate how counter-productive this program might be, we’d need to see studies comparing the two groups (how much longer the surviving spouse lived for those whose spouses with similar terminal illnesses received hospice or other institutional care versus those who remained at home until within a week of the end), and be prepared to supplement the compassionate leave program both with respite care and with counselling and support programs to deal with the depression and loss and try to re-engage people afterwards.

      • Namesake says:

        p.s., I should probably add that for a lot of the cases this program will apply to, it won’t be the spouses who are eligible for the extended EI compassionate care leave, it’ll be the offspring or in-laws (since, as with the parental leave and the existing 6-week c.c. program, they have to be otherwise eligible for EI: i.e., they have to been employed with enough insurable hours over the past year, so if the spouse is long since retired only the family care tax benefit could apply).

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