The politics of diverse division – or is this actually a government innovation moment?

It is the politics of division stupid!

The Star got it right.

I mean, how else do you explain this thing becoming an issue of such absurd porpotions? According to TVO’s The Agenda, this idea takes up mayby 0.01% of the provincial budget. It’s really a pilot project, an idea.

Not a new idea either, really. People have been talking about tax credits for businesses as ways to support immigrant employment for some time in discussion fora, and other places. We have wage subsidies for youth and people with disabilities, etc., these types of employment supports are nothing new.

In fact, this idea is so small, 1200 people, it’s unlikely to have real impact. A drop in the bucket. But, it’s worth trying. I mean, we’ve been at this since 1989 when the provincial government wrote a massive report outlining issues related to skilled immigrant employment that still plague us today. We’ve made little progress. Most reports indicate that newcomers are, in fact, worse off than they were, taking longer to get back into their professions, etc.

And, sure, as the libs back pedalled and made the eligibility requirements almost laughably restrictive, the focus is, yet again, only on regulated professions, it seems like a crappy idea, a passing thought that wasn’t given much thought, we wonder if it was all worth it. And, to think, so much criticism is lobbied at government for not being innovative. For not trying and failing and learning and bringing new ideas to the table. This is such a small attempt at innovation, why not give it a run?

But, what if it were to work? What if this did make a huge difference for 1200 people? And what, not a payout like Jobs Ontario made. But, a simple tax subsidy. That would be amazing.

And, then it could be so simple to replicate, scale up, unlike so many other projects that tend to be resource intensive, with little tangible gains other than to take the cream of the crop, give them a bit of an edge, some additional support and shorten the time for their success. No small feat, sure, but still, small in impact in these cases.

What if it were to work? Yes, that would be amazing.

And, yet, here we are.

What this has been about wasn’t the idea. Not the cost. Not really the fact that a “special” group was getting “special” treatment. Effective programs, including those the Conservatives would support do that all the time. I mean, what, you going to get rid of all those youth programs now? Elizabeth Mcissac got it right in her comments about how this type of program happens all the time, and rightfully so.

For the Conservatives, what this was about was testing the waters for the appetite for divisive extreme partisan politics in Ontario. I mean, hell, it worked famously for Ford in Toronto and Harper nationally, why not give it a whirl in this election? What happens if we, yet again, pit people against each other, cultivate the culture of mistrust, fear and hatred? Could that provide the necessary political dividends?

The big question will be, will it have worked? Did Hudak suffer any down swing in the polls or popularity? That will need to be reviewed, because that’s key. It helped that even the National post called him out on the idiocy, ’cause mainstream media really does impact our voting, in my opinion, but it’s useful to see if this election may signal a certain exhaustian with this politics of division in Ontario.

We’ll see.

And then, maybe we’ll see if something more useful and innovative can come of it.

The following two tabs change content below.


Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Read previous post:
Social media monitoring tools – do you really need to go premium?

I've been asked a few times about our media/social media monitoring and have shared some stuff, so thought I'd just...