8

Bye-bye, CIDA: budget reveals department to be eliminated

Federal agency to be amalgamated with DFAIT


 

It used to be that a federal government eliminating a federal department would make a fuss about it. This one is more modest. On page 241 of the full budget document — but nowhere in Jim Flaherty’s budget speech — we find news that the Canadian International Development Agency will disappear.

The surprise comes near the end of a budget chapter on “Supporting Families and Communities,” which leads a reader to suspect it was not put there to attract attention. “The Government will amalgamate the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and CIDA,” the document says. While the government will maintain “a separate ministerial position” — so there will still be a development minister, as there is a trade minister — the new “Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development” will benefit from “enhanced alignment” to “leverage…synergies” and “maximize the effectiveness of the resources available.”

There’s no indication either of expected savings or of transition costs for the change. Cost reductions from the resource synergy alignment, if any, will come in future years.


 

Bye-bye, CIDA: budget reveals department to be eliminated

  1. The new, amalgamated department will continue to have two ministers because Harper needs daycare spaces for the likes of Bev Oda and Julian Fantino.

    • Pssst… Bev Oda isn’t even an MP anymore, let alone a minister. #HDSfail

      • Psst back…I know, that’s why I mentioned Fantino as her successor at CIDA. Her departure barely diminished Stevie’s need for daycare spaces. There are still several others in that caucus who, like her, need to be kept preoccupied. #Trytokeepup

  2. Seriously, what are those “synergies” and why are they not being leveraged now even without eliminating CIDA? The two work very differently – they have different types of employees with different skill sets, different organizational culture, different contracting, different program objectives, different program evaluation. One deals in poverty and remote powerless people and the other deals in wealth, cocktail parties, and powerful leaders. The two already share offices and computers and the like abroad. Besides needing to know about geography, what do the two have in common?

    • The better to tie Canadian foreign aid to business opportunities in recipient countries, no doubt.

      But I agree that a forced marriage between two departments with very different mandates and cultures is a recipe for mayhem. Should be good for some interesting backstories around the capital in the coming months.

    • I think you just answered your own question.

  3. “There’s no indication either of expected savings or of transition costs
    for the change. Cost reductions from the resource synergy alignment, if
    any, will come in future years.”

    Oh, but there will be immense savings! You just have to know where to look. Canadian mineral extractors, like Barrick Gold for instance, will save millions. NGOs advocating for land rights, food security and an end to forced displacement that were often highly critical of the mineral extraction industry will be all but silenced, while others like World Vision will receive money to create social benefits in the areas that this industry operates. The latter to obfuscate the reality that the industry itself creates virtually no social benefits and does immense harm to to the local population and the environment. Terms like “enhanced alignment” to “leverage…synergies” and “maximize the effectiveness of the resources available.” must be understood in the context that the Ministry of International Trade, Foreign Affairs and International Development all share the singular objective: subsidizing the corporate profits of those who keep the Harper government in power.

  4. Where is your editorial opinion? Contemplate
    this analogy: How many of us have had a second marriage …. or even
    contemplated it? I have. What I see from this experience is that I have
    to learn again the same lessons about sharing, generosity, giving and
    receiving support and self learning on every level of interaction. What
    should CIDA be if not an expression of Canadian’s sharing, generosity,
    giving and receiving support and self learning? Let those who do not see
    this look around the world and be educated.

    Does anyone think
    this can come without enough employment, enough consumer goods, enough
    food, shelter, clothing and healthcare? Of course not. But the
    institutional framework that strives for balance cannot and should not
    rely on the same Minister. That person will have to be like a god. Able
    to penetrate all doubt and vagaries and to function virtually as an
    enlightened dictator. Or he would have to be a proxy and ask permission
    from a wiser person all the time. Now let’s see.. Is there such a wiser
    person who believes they can do this? What kind of reaction and advice
    should this person’s friends offer? Is this not very basic stuff?

Sign in to comment.