"Some programs should end" - Macleans.ca

“Some programs should end”

Finance Minister says he’ll tighten the purse strings in Ottawa in a bid to fight the deficit


The man behind 2006’s $1 billion in budget cuts is wielding his axe again. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is once again looking for programs to cut—anything that will keep Ottawa afloat as the country battles the largest federal deficit in Canadian history. “Some programs should end,” Flaherty told the Toronto Star, adding, “it’s necessary for restraint to happen.” Flaherty says plans to target the “hundreds and hundreds of programs that just trundle along” because of the “assumption in government that every time a program is created, the program should go on indefinitely.” With cumulative budget shortfalls expected to hit $164 billion by 2014, Flaherty says he has no choice but start pinching pennies early. Still, the financial big wig, whose 2006 cuts brought the axe down on museums, youth employment initiatives, and women’s issues groups, admits this kind of work “doesn’t make one popular.”

Toronto Star

Filed under:

“Some programs should end”

  1. Hey, Jim, I got a suggestion. How about bringing ministerial salary down to parity with the the US government party.

    That should cut a million or two.

    • How about politicians earning a full pension in 15 years instead of 6?

  2. I have zero confidence Cons will do anything useful, so I will believe it when I see it.

  3. Dump the Foriegn Aid Program and the Refugee System.

    • yes yes yes and yes

    • maybe cutting the Foriegn Aid is a good idea but Refugee program, only a very small number of refufees comming to canada every year the number does not cross a few hundred.

  4. It will most probably end up like always: screw the poor to keep the rich afloat. What do the poor need money for anyway, right?

    • Government waste, bloating beaurocracy, and a culture of entitlement to tenured civil servants,

      have precious little to do with social services (or any other core government service for that matter.)

      • Depends on how you define GW and bloated bureaucracy…in my experience it usually translates into an attack on those least able to defend themselves.

  5. I can see it now: more youth employment programs cut, then more get-tough-on-crime initiatives pushed through parliament, that will inevitably target youth, as they'll then have fewer low-cost programs available to them, so they find other things to do with their time.

    I guess foresight isn't a learned skill.

  6. yes yes yes and yes i agree with you guest.

  7. Perhaps I'm cynical, but I'm guessing that whatever is left of Kevin Page's budget doesn't make the cut – bye bye PBO

  8. Why don't we just run Parliament for 50 days of the year and save the costs. Haven't seen much come from the parliamentary process that couldn't have been in 20 days, so 50 days seems hard to argue against. Perhaps even trim the senate back instead of expanding it?

  9. A good start would be the hundred's non tendered defence contracts and fire the 27 appointed Senators, and the 200 political appointments perhaps giving Canadians the largest government ever. Oh and how about the multi millions if extra majority inspired 10%ers. Just for starters!

    • Good luck with that.

  10. Red meat for the base.

    Pragmatic reality for the independents.

    Apocolypse now for the statist left.

    What a great Christmas present.

  11. Part 1- I got a few ideas….how about no more immigrants until 2014…let us clean up our financial backyard before we bring more welfare dependant people into our country. While you're at it…no more immigrants older than 40 allowed into our country from now on….they come over here well into their golden years and collect welfare or some form of government assistance until they are 65 and then draw a pension, having never contributed meaningfully to the pension plan or tax base in the first place.

    • I hate to burst your bubble with, like, facts or anything, (okay, I don't hate it . . .)

      Anyone over 65 would have to come as a family class immigrant. That means whoever sponsored them is responsible for their cost of living. They are eligible for OAS & health care. I agree in reality that welfare is seldom charged back to the sponsor, but the legal mechamisms are in place.

      Older immigrants generally have to be sponsored by a younger relative, who is contributing to the economy and paying taxes. There is a minimum salary requirement to sponsor a relative. People immigrate as families, not as individuals.

  12. Part 2 – On another topic all together, it's about time Natives started contributing to the financial good of our country, and not just be a burden on society. Of course not all Natives are a financial burden, some actually work and prosper in life through the many programs and business opportunitys that the taxpayers of the country pay taxes for and set up for them. Even more yet work on their own with no help or handout from anyone. Hats off to them. Mull this over….. 8 % of canadians receive social assistance, while 29% of Natives do. Imagine if these percentages were equal. There are approx. 625 000 Natives in Canada, meaning that approx. 181 250 Natives receive government assistance ( which I personally find the numbers low). There are approx. 33 900 000 Canadians. Imagine if 29% of these Canadians were on Welfare. That would mean there would be 9 million, 831 thousand Canadians would be receiving government assistance.

  13. Do you honestly believe our government could continue to provide Canadians with free healthcare, unemployment insurance, pensions, maintain highways and railways, clean water, education, parks, sidewalks, provide government funded daycare programs and all of the other myriad of programs and functions that they provide (with our tax dollars) if almost 10 million Canadians were on welfare?? Where would they get the tax dollars to pay for any of this???

  14. Part 4 – It's time that Natives stood on their own two feet. 200 years ago our forefathers didn't sign those treatys with the intent that Canadians pay the Natives way through life for all of eternity. They did agree that we would assist the Natives in becoming productive members an integrated society, and assist them in becoming self reliant and prosperous. It was never intended that natives could sit back, put their feet up and the white man would buy them houses and trucks and boats and food and all the other things that they covet, yet won't or don't find the time to earn for themselves.

  15. Part 5 – Now, I know I'll be labelled a racist by saying these remarks, anti-immigrant, anti-Native, but sooner or later these have to come to the forefront and be discussed. Natives shouldn't be mad at the whiteman. If it weren't for the hard-working, tax-paying non-native Canadian, just imagine the plight of the Natives. Who would be there to provide the tax dollars to supply them with what little they do have already?? Don't be mad at me, I'm just telling it like I see it, and I believe I still am entitled my personal opinion.

  16. Part 6 – If Natives want to be mad, be mad at their leaders. Their leaders are the ones who have groomed them to stand there with their hand out. If they were true leaders, they would have insisited on them getting educated and employed, therefore becoming independent and truly proud Natives. Their leaders are the ones that should be telling the young female Natives to not have children until they finish their education and get meaningful employment, so as they can provide for them and are not forever stuck on government assistance. Their leaders should be telling their young males to get educated, find work, and to provide for any children they should happen to father. Their leaders have dropped the ball and it always seems to come back on the white man. Time to stand on everyone's own feet and be accountable for yourself.

    • (TBay) Cracker

  17. get rid of Heritage Canada, and in particular the Official Languages support programs ..if you want to throw money down the toilet there are other ways

  18. It's only a start of course, but iwondered when the other shoe would drop…it was inevitable really since the first of the loony gst cuts. I see it's already brought out the fans of cutcutscuts, to everything like our tolerant friend Tbay…who knew the natives were responsible for that projected 160 billon dollar millstone?

    "It's time that Natives stood on their own two feet. 200 years ago our forefathers didn't sign those treatys with the intent that Canadians pay the Natives way through life for all of eternity. They did agree that we would assist the Natives in becoming productive members an integrated society, and assist them in becoming self reliant and prosperous"

    Yeah we gave them residential schools too…ungrateful bastards aren't they Tbay? Bet you've never been within a mile of a reserve before either.

    • Isn't funny how those gst cuts helped empty the cupboard, and helped stregthen Stephen Harper's image as a man of the people. A populist agenda to set up a majority, then the Common Sense Revolution Part II. Did you read Chantal Hebert's latest?

      As far as TBoy's ramble? The woodwork must be lonely without him.

    • Actually kcm I've been on many reserves….I was raised about 2 km's from a reserve and lived in that home until I was 21…I have Natives in my family that I've married into, I also have Native friends, co-workers, and neighbours, so pull your head outta your ass and get your story straight. You wanna find fault for the residential schools….point the finger at all the perverted employees and priests who abused those kids…..I had nothin to do with it…and neither did my kids….but they'll continue to shoulder the blame just as we do….financially speaking that is….and I am fairly tolerant…but I am more and more fed up with having both my wife and I working 2 jobs each to pay all the taxes in this country….and paying the Natives non-stop is a big part of that…no matter what you say….thats all for now….

    • 近义词 名 英语;英格兰人[的];英文

  19. So the government cut 1 billion in program spending in 2006. But how much more did it spend in program in 2006 than in 2005?

    Governement spending in billions
    2005: 211,771
    2006: 220,496
    2007: 229,597
    2008: 246,583

    All this is BEFORE the recessioin and stimulus spending…

    My gawd, if the government continues to cut spending the way it has when the economy was rolling well, we'll go bankrupt!

    • interesting stats ..where did you get this from? strangley enough governments should cut spending in good times and spend in bad times but they always do the opposite …your stats show a constant increase in spending but may not be in "real dollars" (adjusted for inflation)

  20. CBC .

    • it puzzles me how the cbc can get over one billion per year yet global and ctv are private enterprise that i guess turn a profit and probably make just as many canadian shows

      • fuddle duddle

        Firstly, Global and CTV do not turn a profit, apparently or at least not on their over-the-air broadcasting.

        And the cbc is mandated to program and broadcast more Canadian content and in non-lucrative markets as the national broadcaster – in both official languages. In other words, they have to do more with less options for creating revenue. They do this (more successfully) on radio and via their website as well as tv.

        Although I would change a good deal at the cbc given control of it, I believe it performs a vital service – particularly in bringing Canadian and International news to those who care to pay attention.

  21. Modest suggestion: prorogued time off is discounted from the ruling party's MP and Senate salaries, including all support staff, etc. Tax refund for donations similarly prorated for those who give during that calendar year.

  22. It's a really hard task because Martin and Chretien already made a lot of the easier cuts back in the 90s, and even that wasn't super easy.

    I await details but am not hopeful.

  23. Last year, this government showed its commitment to fiscal prudence by giving us the biggest federal government in our history. Cut that first.

    Government spending on advertising, 10-percenters, revamps of government websites, motorcades and travel – cut, and cut again. I see no reason for the taxpayer to fly Gary Lunn to Afghanistan, for instance. Or to ship Duffy around this country.

    On the revenue side, let's admit there has been foolish, politically-oriented cutting. This needs to be corrected.

    Raise the GST – way up but only on luxury items.
    And add a surtax on salaries over $100K.

    I would also reduce or eliminate the tax credit for political donations.

  24. Redirection is a wonderful thing.

    Do any of you really understand how the federal reserve/ world bank works?

    If you want to 'fix' things take away the governments credit card!