Who is Valerie?

January 1, 2014

She appears on my TV screen as a rather timid woman not far from middle age, a pleasant person who may be a bit down on her luck. She tells of her desire for a career and how she got to take a mechanic’s course with a four thousand dollar grant from the federal government. Then come those execrable green arrows and the Canada’s Economic Action Plan logo.

So I decided to find out who “Valerie” really is. I got nowhere. The Action Plan website is all flash and no substance. I’ve seen sources better documented on entries to the annual Legion Poetry Contest. “Valerie” is nowhere to be found.

So I must conclude that the Harper Government has so come unglued from reality that it has now made up a fictitious character to fill a fictitious job funded by a fictitious $4000. grant from a non-existent program.

This “Valerie” character is a less-heroic knockoff of Winston Smith’s “Comrade Ogilvie,” a character he made up one day as part of his job revising history at The Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four.

My fondest hope is that the next government of Canada will draw its inspiration from a more nuanced source than a dated sci-fi novel taught in grade 11.

UPDATE, 23 January, 2014:

Today Employment Minister Jason Kenney uttered the following in a press conference about his jobs grant: “I don’t understand why it’s not widely accepted.”

Think, Jason. Could it have something to do with the $14.8 million of our money you spent last year on ads about non-existent grants for non-existent jobs? Normal people call that lying and it annoys them.

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