Did the federal budget strike the right balance? - Macleans.ca

Did the federal budget strike the right balance?


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Did the federal budget strike the right balance?

  1. Job cuts are stupid. They lead to unemployment. And how exactly is that supposed to stimulate the economy? You wanna make job cuts? You take a pension cut. You take a pay cut. Until the MPs start making a few sacrifices, they can go straight to hell for cutting jobs.

    • Job cuts in the civil service are reasonable.   The corporate economy is chugging along quite well.  Yesterday’s unemployment figures showed about 80,000 new jobs in the private sector last month.  In fact,  I’m having a diffult time finding new employees, I’ve got three job openings because guys left for higher paying jobs with other companies.  So I’d like for a few government layoffs to free up some hard working people with good attitudess that I can hire.

      • It would still be better to cut “unnecessary jobs” and leave the CBC alone.  We get so little Canadian news in so many areas of Canada that further cuts are going to leave most people with nothing but US news to rely on, and that’s so corporate-controlled and deliberately skewed that you’d have to be blind not to see it.

        What they need to do is to cut jobs in BUREAUCRACY, as those people are nothing more than leeches at the public teat.  They spend so much time skirting issues that they never get anything posotive done, except when it’s completely by accident, and when they realize that they have done something of benefit to the Canadian public, they immediately seek ways to CORRECT what they fixed!

        If you honestly think that bureaucrats are “hard working people”, I’d LOVE to hear your reports on seeing how they operate after a few days on a REAL factory floor, where they REALLY have to work, and not just lie to people on the phone all day and push paperwork as excuses for not doing their jobs.

        PS:  If you EVER hire a former bureaucrat and you’re involved in any form of metal fabrication industry, keep them away from any office spaces where important (but flammable) papers are kept, and make sure you NEVER teach them how to properly operate a torch!

        • You’re best source of even-handed news is CTV and they deliver it in half the time. CBC is skews the news just as badly as does MSNBC. The CBC jihad against the federal government since 2006 is shameful especially when done on our dollar.

          • Jihad?  You lose all credibity when you use inflammatory metaphors completely out of context and reasonable comparison.

          • You are right, it’s misnomer. CBC is letist’s agit-prop department

        •  A government run media eventually will end up as the governments mouthpiece. Right now the CBC is pretty Liberal.  If the Conservatives are in power much longer CBC will be mainly Conservative.  Privatize the CBC and pass a law that says 80% of the news has to be Canadian.

          • The CTV is the government mouthpiece – look at who owns CTV – look where Senate appointees are from.  The CBC is the only source of neutral media in Canada.

          • And a commercial media will quickly end up as the mouthpiece of the corporate world, unable to tackle any story that challenges consumerism or the wisdom of capitalism.  If the media will be mouthpieces of their funders, far better that there be more than one funder so we get more than one perspective.  Better, of course, would be a system like the one Britain has:  Throw a surcharge on every TV sold (or monitor or whatever) and fund the CBC that way. 


          • didn’t you notice our media was basically sold during the digital age and thus our basically muzzled – why there was a big shuffle of respected broadcasters and some retired.

            It became very evident with Shaw-Bell and Global cbc,ctv
            etc.  – especially during the time they wouldn’t allow Eliz. May to debate – and I am sure that was a head hauncho corporate directorship…….not the journalists ideas……..

            there is much of this – and watching Mansbridge is incredible
            especially during election interviews.

        • yea – wouldn’t an undercover boss programme on parliament hill be fun?

      • You want hard working people with good attitudes, and you expect to find them in the civil service?  Snicker.  (OK, sorry.  Bad joke.  I know lots of great people in the civil service, but I hear horror stories from them about the incompetents that get to keep their jobs as well.)

        Anyway, if the quality of government service now is any indication, the last thing we need is more cuts to the civil service (unless they can find a way to get rid of the useless people only).  The EI backlog is out of control.  Lord knows what comes next. 

    • Not when it is government employees that are being cut. Especially in needless spending areas like CBC and ministries with overlapping or competing jurisdictions.

      • You’re absolutely right.  The CBC was created to keep Canadian informed of local, national and international news.  The less actual information Canadians receive, the easier it will be to control what they think, and replacing the CBC with corporate-controlled “news media” like they have in the states is EXACTLY what the corporations and corrupt government officials desperately need.

        The longer Canadians sit back and “wait for someone else to fix things” the worse things will get…just like they’re going in the states, so will the exact same destruction plan be followed to the letter by the US-controlled Canadian government.

        Look around you, people…if you can’t see it yet, in another year or two you’re going to be absolutely shocked how quickly things get even worse than they are now!

  2. Your poll is bullshit. Where is the Keynesian option?

    • The poll is the result of “the Keynesian option.”

      If you understood how economics works at all, you’d already know that.  There is a reason that nobody is ever taught WHAT money is, or HOW money is created…it keeps them asking questions like that, and never once ever geting the tinest bit closer to learning the truth about how fraudulent the entire Canadian, and world economies are today.

      Paper money is easily destroyed, and that means that it’s not real money.  Digital zeroes and ones in what you BELIEVE is your “rock solid” pension plan or RRSP or bank account?  Whenever it is decided by others that you don’t need it, it’ll disappear in a nanosecond…but go back and look at those printed paper statements and BELIEVE that you have something to fall back on…you’ll learn what Keynesian economics was really designed for within the next couple of years.

  3. The cuts to the CBC are purely political, as it is the CBC that has guts enough to keep Harper and his arrogant band of liars and crooks “feet to the fire”!!

    • My Father taught me “to never bite the hand that feeds you” ,the cbc has for years-all funding should have been cut.

      •  Obviously a Harper fan irrespective of the lies and propaganda (think F-35) and “robo calling”, the shutting down of (parliament) to name three. Amazing how the propaganda can hoodwink so many people that as mice, continue to elect fat cats like Harper’s merry band.Sometimes you need to have an open mind of your own as opposed to just listening to your father!

  4. Another missed opportunity, I fear, in the face of impending economic collapse. If the Conservatives  are not capable of more purposeful financial pruning at a time when all the signals are pointing to a serious world wide economic readjustment that will be extremely difficult to navigate, at what point will the really difficult measures be adopted? When it’s, by then, too bloody late to accomplish anything defensively productive? The world, never mind just Canada, is thirsting for and urgently needs the right signals from its political leaders everywhere, that they get it and are prepared to face the tough challenges in a thoughtful and forward thinking way. For me, Harper seems that he just cannot shed the shackles of his political self in forming economic policies with the longer view opting, instead, for measured approaches that will surely fall short, in retrospect. His job at this moment in our history, as I see it, is to demonstrate clearly thought-through aggressive economic planning that will result in a measure of short term restraint and hardship, now, in order to protect Canadians to the greatest extent possible from the more serious consequences that surely lie ahead of us if he does not. With a strong majority government in place, what in the hell is he waiting for, to bask in the voter adoration he so seems to lust after? Problem with this is, his adversaries will damn him mercilessly whatever his policies – he has no time for this political gamesmanship – and, neither do we!! What is it going to take to get the people we entrust to leadership to actually take the bull by the horns and do what is necessary in the best interest of Canadians, now and in the future?

    • What would be in the interest of Canadians would be to stick the 2 percentage points back on the GST so that we don’t need to further destabilize our economy with massive cuts to jobs and services.  Yeah, nobody likes tax.  But nobody was screaming for a cut in the GST either.  That plunged us into deficit completely senselessly at the worst possible time.

  5. When you include terms, casuals and some contract workers, many young people will become victims of the cuts, which are likely closer to 30,000.  How does cutting positions help to stimulate an already weak economy?  There was never a worse time to make these cuts.  Also, some Civil Servants require performance objectives and consequences for not meeting them: except for retirements, the current methods for cutting encourages mediocrity of performance

  6. What makes it a crock is these guys’ strategy of blending some necessary and supportable policy with socially conservative dogmatic “reshaping” such as the cuts to our public broadcaster.

    • With respect, Peter, our public broadcaster should be privatized – for Canadians’ sake . . . and theirs! If they are unable to make it in the cut and thrust of competitive broadcasting, they aren’t up to much and are surely just a burden on the public purse we can no longer afford. If they resist such a change, they only prove their inability to excel as they continue to rely on their ‘we’re-good-for-the-country’ mantra. Face it – this institution long ago became a purely political action organization, a shadowy instrument to promote the Left Liberal agenda and they use that power to defend the indefensible. Even the Conservatives, who well understand this, are clearly reluctant to face them head-on preferring instead to, in their current budget, offer a pretense to conservative-minded people that they are taking a stand. It would surprise me not at all to learn that the CBC budget reduction is a cooked up arrangement with the CBC.

      • To argue that the CBC should be privatized to sink or swim against corporate media comglomerates reveals a lack of understanding about the purpose of the CBC. Canada has a national public broadcaster which receives some government funding (nowhere near all) of its total operating expenses precisely because the other national corporate broadcasters will not invest the people, money and resources required to meet the specific objectives mandated for the CBC. It simply would not be profitable. But not everything has to be profitable to be worth doing.

        When Shaw, Rogers and CTV start and commit to continue broadcasting in both official languages across Canada and produce local news in both languages in every city and region, and open news bureaus across Canada and the world, and produce programming in eight aboriginal languages, and produce original Canadian children’s educational programming, and produce quality Canadian documentaries – then the CBC should be privatized.  There has to more to Canadian broadcasting than hockey and imported shows like Canadian Idol, Canada Has Talent and the Canadian Bachelor.

        One last thing – the oft made claim that the CBC it is a biased left wing proganda machine has very little basis in fact. CBC News, science and documentary programming report on factual events and accepted scientific understanding. Those events, facts and broad consenus of scientific knowledge are neither left or right, but they may be uncomfortable for people with a particular rigid ideology, religious beliefs or political values. (Ironically, Don Cherry and Kevin O’Leary are obvious exceptions at the CBC, but it is made clear that they are providing personal commentary and opinions.)

      • “With Respect”, Macgoo:  
        If you think that the commercial news organizations have no political agenda you are rather naive.  You happen to share an ideological dogma with some of them and are stating some ill-informed opinions as facts.
        It is all about balance.  I happen to disagree with the slant of some of the CBC’s reporters AND with the slant of some of the commercial media but am able to sort the ‘wheat from the chaff’.
        One of the reasons our neighbours (and my in-laws) to the south are so (and frightenly, given that they spend more on their military than the rest of the industrialized world combined) ignorant of world affairs…. AND easily swayed by the hysterical misinformation spouted by some of their politicians …..is that they are the only major country in the industrialized world without an independant and properly funded news source.

      • Mr_macgoo, I second David Chuch’s thoughtful comments but will add this: 

        Another reason we have government funded broadcasting is so that we can hear voices that cannot be heard on advertiser-funded broadcasters.  These include:

        – Voices of interest groups that challenge consumerism and capitalism.  ie:  The CBC once ran a national radio story about how to get around a city without gas.  If you think a commercial broadcaster could’ve run that piece without threat of an oil company advertiser boycott, I’ve got a piece of land in Florida to sell you.  And yes, if you’re left of red Tory, you have a better chance of being heard on the CBC.  That doesn’t mean the CBC has a liberal bias.  It means the CBC reflects a far fuller range of political opinion than the private networks — whose self interest causes them to marginalize voices that are too unfriendly to corporations.

        – Voices of the poor and low income populations like various Aboriginal communities and immigrant communities.  Commercial broadcasters have to program for people with money because that’s who advertisers want to advertise to.  The CBC can program for everyone.

        – Voices of smaller, diverse minorities.  Commercial broadcasters have to program to the large, lucrative demographic groups that advertisers want  The CBC can program for a broad range of people.

        Broadcasting is a public service, not just entertainment.  That service should be available to all of us, not just those who can afford to buy advertised products.  And the only way to make sure all of the public is served is to fund the CBC through taxes or some other non voluntary funding mechanism like the British TV licence system.

  7. I think that budgeting for government is like your home budget. You have to decide what can afford and what you can’t afford. If you(the government) decide you don`t want or need something and can`t afford it, it should be eliminated. If the Conservatives are opposed to a large program like the OAS or CBC and they really feel that those programs are not governments responsibility they should campaign on those issues of eliminating them or properly fund them through increased taxes or other program eliminations (but let us know what your agenda is and we can vote on it). Death by a thousand cuts is not the way to go as it just makes everybody mad and and does not solve the core problem.

    Regards Steve MacDonald

  8. As the US dollar winds itself down,  Canadians will see a corresponding decrease in value of the Canadian dollar, since it is also based on the same “high-grade air” the US dollar is.

    Want to know why the same loaf of bread that was a “complete ripoff” last year at $2.29 is going for $3.49 today?  It’s not because the seeds went on strike for more pay…it’s because the dollar has declined in value.

    While Emperor Harperius Mandatorius Minimus is creating his new prisons in a country with declining crime rates across the board, you have to understand this he is doing this in preparation for the statutes he is creating to make more criminals on paper.  The next criminal might be your next door neighbour, or it might even be yourself.  The most important thing to know is that it will cost about $120,000.00 per year to warehouse all those otherwise productive, non-violent people, and WE have to pay for it.

    Every penny Harperius cuts comes out of OUR programs, and we lose.  Every penny Harperius spends comes out of OUR pockets, and we lose.  Every job Harperius cuts comes out of OUR pockets AND our programs, and we lose twice as much.

    It’s time we deposed Emperor Harperius and took our country back.

    Of course, I realize what an impossibility the last statement is, in a country where 60% of people didn’t even bother to vote in the last election, and Harperius got his “majority” with only 17% of Canadian actually idiotic enough to support his national destruction plans.

    Go back to sleep, everyone…your government is here to protect you from yourselves…pay more, get less…go back to sleep…

  9. Look back (2001)when Mr. James Flaherty was Minister of Finance in Ontario, before loosing  power against the Liberals, he presented a budget of balanced book; and it didn’t come public until the Liberals took power and found out that The Conservative left a deficit of 7 billions in Ontario. I don’t thrust in any thing Mr. Harper’s crooks say, and I still wonder how they got elected.Rob Jar

    • And your taking the word of the Liberals, why?

  10.   The gold plated pensions of the MPs and Senators need to be brought to the same standard as those of the rest of us.  It is unreasonable to expect other hard working Canadians to continue to support these pensions when they are being subjected to the uncertainty of their own retirement.
    The Conservative government has missed a great opportunity to “lead by example”. 

  11. We must have cuts to balance our cash flow. I worked with the CBC during the ’80 and the cuts were much more severe than those proposed to-day. The debate then and to-day is that the CBC should be local or regonal or national. My feeling is that the main thrust now is to be mostly regional because there is not enough money or air time to cover all outputs.. The basic output then should be information programming

  12. How can I, a dedicated, long term and loyal subscriber, also receive a Personal Weather Station?
    EG Hemmings

  13. The answer to the lying, cheating, self-serving governments/corporations of the world, at each level of the world, (federal, provincial/state/whatever, municipal, corporate, etc) is to free ourselves of these people by our population to rise against them and  thereby bringing about their dismissal, just like those of Asia are achieving, and replacing them with those who will be made to know their function, absolute honesty and service to the people who voted them in, or they will go to prison.
    EG Hemmings

  14. According to you liberals and socialists – you believe money grows on the $$$$$$ – trees?
    The Old Age Pension age should be increased to 68 – and right now vs 2023.
    Working is good for you – helps you live longer.  And we are living considerably longer – thus 
    the need to increase age of eligibility.
    Send the laid off workers out West – we are short of labourers.
    And why the cuts at CBC – it should be sold – then the workers will have to do some work.

  15. Since when does government create wealth? It does not. It only taxes People, corporations etc. So who pays for all these government employees? It is the tax payer who creates wealth.People should realise this and make an effort to cut more of government. I heard a joke the other day.Something to this affect. Why do polititions want to be elected? So they do not have to work under the rules they have made.

  16. Like usual it is a matter of cutting at the wrong places.  The crime bill should be the first to go.  Next should be the fighter jets.  Job cuts should be so far down the list of priorities that they don’t even come up on the radar.  Government advertising, e.g. The Economic Action Plan, should be banned.  Certainly the one link that ties all Canadians together, the CBC, should be left alone barring total mismanagement and then that would mean replacing upper management not cutting budget.  Considering that the bulk of political funding comes from big corporations in one way or another it is no wonder that tax cuts benefit the wrong people.

  17. It is amazing that the Conservative created out the old Reform party  emulates the Liberals so well – the party they hope to destroy. When formed the Reform complained about the outrageous pension available to MP’s. When they were given the chance to opt out, they opted in.  they realize that being elected is like winning 649.They think that the Senate and MP pensions are small potatoes. Most of us have to cut small potatoes to survive.

  18. They should cut the over blotted civil service by a minimum of one third and should not subsidise the cbc  at all, let them be self sufficent

  19. Promote jobs, let elliminate income tax for seniors let them have their checks clear in their pocket and then you will see an increase of wokers and qualified one.
    About gas price what a joke our government don’t want to be involve they are collecting the taxes, so if it become too expensive driving to work just stay home and apply for welfare.

  20. It seems anything that is not ultra right wing is leftist. The CBC is more centist. The CBC could start cutting by getting rid of Mr. Bluster. Coach’s corner -Ha! He did such a great job in Colorado. Why does make he sound that you have to be to the extreme right to support the troops? 

  21. Get the opinion of two previous Deputy Ministers of Finance on this link:


    Their final words “Budget 2012 will be remembered for its lack of vision; its lack of transparency; its lack of accountability; and its lack of sound economic policy. Future budgets are likely to provide more of the same.”

  22. If you ask me, it’s the unions that are to blame. I mean yes, collective bargaining ensure the safety, security…etc. and a lot of things for workers, but the constant pay raises that they enforce upon the employers are only going to get people fired and laid-off. Let’s follow the logic, shall we? Pay raise–>Increased costs (for the employer)–>Shortened hours (for the employee) OR lay-off of one or MULTIPLE employees–>even tougher times for the laid-off families. Yeah, a few big corporations have executives that make too much money, but what about the rest of the employers? Their employees? They all get affected because some workers complain about getting only a 7% wage increase instead of a 10% wage increase.

    So when workers strike for wage increases, people lose jobs. That is a FACT.

    What have you to say, unions?