Saturday, 31 March 2012

More small dollar, big impact cuts

Last post I spoke of Harper's Fabian Neo-Conservatism and told a commenter that I'd follow up on OAS. This is not the OAS post, but rather a look at some of the other cuts that, while small, carry huge negative consequences.

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 0.0003% of program spending in 2011. 

Getting into slightly bigger territory, Statistics Canada - an agency internationally renowned for its professional, quality work and the lifeblood of many government agencies, social advocacy groups, and businesses via it's role at providing information will be slashed by $33.9 million (a number that's 0.01% of last fiscal year's program expenditure). This compounds the disasterous blow of scrapping a mandatory long form census.

 First Nations - a rapidly expanding population in many places, including this Province - are serviced by the 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.   


  1. Since when is buying military jets and funding stoppages for nonprofit organizations a "Canadian" value? I think we need to vote the conservatives out of office as soon as possible. If not for yourself, for future Canadians.

  2. Are you suggesting the brave men and women pilots of our armed services sit in office chairs and make airplane noises instead of getting the equipment they deserve?

    What is it with you dippers? Why do you hate the military so much? I think a little empathy is needed here.

    1. Boy, your response is disgustingly presumptuous. Regardless, I'd rather limit foreign adventurism and give troops coming home from brutal combat the benefits and PENSIONS they deserve. I've know a veteran who's told me quite a bit about the shit the CON gov't pulls with veterans' pensions and why they're voting NDP from now on.

    2. I guess the factor here lies in need and the concept of "deserve." IMO why are new jets deemed a "need." Since its inception in the late 80's have we ever lost a F-18 in a combat mission or in a dog fight? I don't recall that ever happening. One could conclude based upon our enemies resources where is the necessity of this purchase.

      Working for years in the aerospace industry, the extensive preventative maintenance of these jets mean they may be operational for many more decades.

      If the government is looking to cut spending, why not on a billion dollar purchase? Instead, Harper seems to focus budgetary cuts on nonprofit organizations which try to represent a segment of the population with a "hidden" voice.