Saturday, 31 March 2012
More small dollar, big impact cuts
Harper's dealing crippling cuts to the National Council of Welfare - an organization that provides crucial insight into problems facing low-income Canadians and challenges that the social assistance system has to address. This organization has a budget of $1.1 million, or
First Nations Statistical Institute (FNSI). Info about the issues and demographics of remote First Nations communities come out of this organization, which the government will eliminate funding for within 2 years. FNSI, while doing valuable work that'll help enhance Canada's social capital, amounts to only 0.002% of 2011 program expenditures.
The Harper Government™ is also engaging an assault on environmental groups, both with its threats to cut off charitable status for "partisan" activity, and by devastating cuts to the National Round Table on the Environment and Economy. The roundtable's budget is $5 million, again a mere 0.002% of 2011 program spending.
Contrary to what Calgary Grit thinks, these aren't small moves just because they're small-dollar items. Threatening environmental groups, for instance, goes against some of the core conditions necessary for a health democracy. Harper's move is pretty Nixonian, as Richard Nixon plotted to use his country's federal revenue agency to target policy opponents - though he didn't end up doing so in the end.
These cuts are small bucks, but have impacts above their weight. They cripple the information gathering process of the federal government. This inhibits the ability for policymakers to craft well-designed, targeted and efficiently ran programs to address socioeconomic issues. It disables the Canadian state. Harper's band is nothing less than a US-style conservative wrecking crew due to the disorder they've caused to competent public administration in this country. Cutting into the bone of one small program at a time, Harper's disabling the social safety net.
Harper's $9 Billion F-35 deal will amount to a size that's 3% of the 2011 Budget's program expenditures, btw.