Jim Flaherty reminds us everyone is human - Macleans.ca

Jim Flaherty reminds us everyone is human

Tease the day: the Finance Minister tells The Globe about his struggle with a rare disease


Adrian Wyld/CP

Ottawa talks. The other day, the talk was about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apparent attempt to soften his image by way of harmless tweets about his #dayinthelife. Whether the stunt worked or not is up for debate, as the comments beneath any writing about that Twitter adventure make abundantly clear. Worth considering, probably, is that something’s amiss if the matter’s even up for debate. Harper’s worked himself into a corner with a lot of people who honestly believe he’s a robot. That’s a challenge he might not care too much about, otherwise he’d do more to fix it, but public image is public image. No one likes to be hated, do they?

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s face graces The Globe and Mail‘s front page. The photo is neither flattering nor unflattering. It’s simply raw. Beneath the photo, we learn about Flaherty’s struggle with an extremely rare skin disease known as bullous pemphigoid. The steroids battling the disease have, over time, altered the finance minister’s appearance. Ottawa talks, and tongues have wagged for some time about Flaherty—every time he appeared out of sorts, frustrated, or simply unhealthy in the House of Commons. The man who used to answer questions with a smile now responded with a scowl. What was happening to him? What was wrong with him?

The finance minister, it turns out, is a human being. He didn’t need to prove it via Twitter. Circumstances proved it for him. He didn’t want to tell anyone about his struggle, either: The Globe reported Flaherty was “clearly uncomfortable divulging a private matter,” a pretty normal reaction, by most standards. None of this is to suggest the finance minister should be applauded or criticized, nor should it suggest the PM was misguided in his manufactured attempt at image management. This is simply a genuine reminder, as happens from time to time, that we elect human beings.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s admission that he’s fighting a rare skin disease. The National Post fronts negotiations that might see the RCMP provide “investigative training” to police in Saudi Arabia. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with a Montreal condo filled with players in the city’s organized crime underworld. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the Ottawa Hospital’s claim that staffing cuts won’t affect patient care. iPolitics fronts Sierra Club Canada’s consideration of non-violent civil disobedience, a potentially marked change in strategy for the advocacy group. CBC.ca leads with an alleged 15-year price-fixing scheme at new home developments in Toronto. National Newswatch showcases a Toronto Star story about Senator Patrick Brazeau and Orleans MP Royal Galipeau’s disparaging comments, directed at Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, at a local party fundraiser.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Residential schools. The Ontario Superior Court ruled that the feds must release millions of documents related to residential schools, a decision the government may appeal. 2. Ethics watchdog. Mary Dawson, the federal ethics commissioner, wants the ability to fine public office holders, including cabinet ministers, who violate the Conflict of Interest Act.
3. Oil spills. Environment Minister Peter Kent says the federal government will introduce legislation that could force energy companies to pay billions for disaster clean-up. 4. Mining. Plan Canada, a major charity, says its donors are wary of overseas, CIDA-funded development programs that partner with image-challenged mining companies.

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Jim Flaherty reminds us everyone is human

  1. gee only human, maybe the folks at macleans too?? flaherty and harper wonder what they are hiding behind their facade? two bullys we can do without!!!

  2. Ah, I thought he looked bloated and ill, get well Mr Flaherty. Wonder if Pat Brazeau and Galipileau will mock him in public …

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Self-hating but firmly entrenched at the public trough even as he denigrates his own people. A useful idiot, as they say.

  3. it seems alot more polititians are becoming sick in there terms in office lately. it about time for polititians to disclose there health conditions before they run for office.it can cost canadian tax payers a fortune in lost time off the job for these overpayed galutes.again to the author,how do you humanize someone who demonizes certain parts of our population.you(author)have been plugging the harper goverment for the past week.why dont you talk about the 600 billion dollar deficet,humanize that.

    • I put to you that it costs us less when they’re out sick than when they’re there.. as indicated by Brian Jean, who suggested that the cost of answering questions worked out to 1.2 million.

      I also put to you that, given the quality of the answers, we actually get more for our money when they’re not there to respond.

    • Um, what “600 billion dollar deficet” (sic)? Perhaps a little bit of education might help you. Google is your friend.

  4. A Finance Minister on steroids….

  5. Flaherty is trying to get rid of AG Page. He is a little too honest for the Harper Cons. The gall of Page asking for information, so he can do his books. We all know how much Harper has to hide, his outrageous spending. If Flaherty’s illness is affecting his work? He should resign, his stress is getting to him.

    Flaherty will never convince most Canadians, Harper is human. Brazeau is no better towards the F.N. than, Goebbels propaganda machine and, his hate speech towards the Jewish people. He is a total disgrace to this country.

    I have never been so ashamed of this country since, Harper’s so called majority. Some of sent web sites, comments and news web sites overseas to friends and relatives overseas. They were horrified, this was Canada. This is the way, Harper and his so called Cons, treat the F.N. people with cruelty. In country such as Canada. However, I sad no-one has any rights in Canada anymore. I asked them to read about: Harper was Policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation Party of 1989. There are no morals nor ethics left in Canada, what-so-ever. Canada is a cesspool of corruption. Canada is no longer, a good, decent country.

    • Nazi references are the product of a under developed mentality

    • hinotes–would you please get back and state what you have to say in understandable english–you seem a little all over the map with your ideas and writing.

  6. This is a Canadian first Zookeeper – Darwinist Monkey financier turning into a pig….wow The Darwinist lovers (Believers) will be trill to proof that evolution theory is happening right before their eyes from a Monkey to a pig Flaherty is He….

    To Bad Canadians RRSP portfolios aren’t following our Darwinist utopians Elites such as Flaherty trends,

    RRSP- Lovers / Private Taxes prayers would be trill to see their profiteering savings behave like Zookeeper-Flaherty.

    Than lots of Darwinist RRSP Monkey Donors wouldn’t have to worry about their way of live – retiring plan…. survival of the faeces (Freedump 55)

    For all the RRSP Darwinist Monkey Lovers , just hope the Flaherty disease is transferable to All Canadian RRSP Portfolios from the Fabulous Big Five….

    Can Wait for Saturday Night

    Go Canucks Go …..Go Canadians Go….

    • Post before drinking

      • Hmmm Mouland confuse I see …..read before you get drunk OR take your happy piles…

  7. Typically as a human one would be expected to exercise personal thought and emotion rather than aping the party line at all opportunities.

  8. Yesterday I watched a TV show which was showing how the young people are suffering from unemployment. With my experience I have an advise for Mr. Jim Flaherty. Stop the industries/factories from hiring the retired workers on contract!!!! These retired people most of them have decent pension and have paid off their mortgage. Let the young people get a chance. I sincerely feel this will bring down the unemployment amongst the youth.