About that $11 billion - Macleans.ca

About that $11 billion


Economists consider Stephen Harper’s promised cuts.

Canadian Labour Congress chief economist Andrew Jackson said the Conservative spending exercise would likely cause cuts in programs because the obvious, easy cuts have already been made by the Harper government. He said the spending to be reviewed by the Conservatives — $80 billion in annual operational costs — has already been subjected to a round of savings reviews. “It’s a second kick at the can,” he said. “Those budgets have pretty well already been cut.”


About that $11 billion

  1. Brilliant Mr Jackson any public servant could have told you that. I predict further slashing and pillaging at Environment Canada no need for them under a Harper agenda.

    • It's alreday started at Environment Canada.
      Is this what the Conservatives call "providing for the future of our Children?"

  2. I have a feeling the federal civil service is about to be brought to its knees. I wonder if they realize that?

    • We're bracing for it. It is unfortunate that this gov't sees the civil service as the enemy. Without us the gov't gets nothing done and Canadians don't get the services that they have demanded. Very little, if any, fat left. Waste in gov't is usually caused by political pork barreling not wasteful public servants as many would have you believe.

      • there's also plenty of potential "fat" in jurisdictional duplication (in health, post-secondary education, social development, First Nation's programming that is constitutionally federal, but could be more efficiently delivered provincially, etc); as well as in the dirigiste administration of things like regional development funding and infrastructure programs, but what backbench government MP could ever get re-elected if he/she couldn't cut a ribbon or two for a Regional Development Agency grant or a Building Canada-funded infrastructure project in his/her riding? So none of those potential areas for cutting are likely to be seriously examined either.

  3. It took the Conservatives 4 years to identify $1.6 billion in savings through their strategic review — and that savings is not booked until 2013-2014. One third of this is actually not efficiency savings, but rather slowing the rate of defense spending (which they really don't want to talk about, as it blows a hole in their pro-military malarky).

    The very idea that Harper is spinning, that they can cut an additional $11 billion (seven times the savings they already claim) and retire the deficit a year early — all without cutting core programs — is absurd, risible and evidence that these yahoos need to be kept as far away from the taxpayer's money as possible.

  4. "Canadian Labour Congress chief economist …."

    Oxymoron. Canadian Labour Congress chief propagandist would be closer to truth.

    Unions are another reason why I don't believe size of government is shrinking. If government was actually being reduced, getting smaller, unions would be shrieking like banshees like they normally do but it is all quiet on labour front.

    • Harper himself cited the Canadian Labour Congress in his interview with Mansbridge on CBC — or maybe you didn't get the talking points? He asserted that they encouraged the NDP to accept his budget.

      So which is it, are they worthy of citation by Conservatives or not?

    • Bite your tongue – bergkamp – Harper has been shouting their supposed endorsement of his budget from the rooftops. Of course they didn't wholehearedly endorse it, but never put down an organization you're using for political purposes.

    • Nova Scotia's NDP government provides a very good example of Big Labour economics in practice. They came to power promising to reduce the deficit without raising taxes. What did they do instead of making the public service cuts needed to fulfill this promise? They gave every public sector union a 3% raise during the height of the recession, created 400 new programs, raised the HST 2%, and broke the 2007 Provincial-Municipal spending agreement forcing Municipal governments to skyrocket property taxes in order to absorb millions of dollars in costs for education, housing and correctional services.

      • I follow UK politics and their Labour party has proper left wing people, communists when they were in university. That sort.

        Labour and their understanding of economics turned the Conservative party into most successful political party in western world during twentieth century. Every time Labour have taken power, they are eventually booted out of power because country was in economic ruin, facing bankruptcy.

    • "Harper himself cited the Canadian Labour Congress …. "

      " … Harper has been shouting their supposed endorsement of his budget from the rooftops."

      Seriously? I had no idea. Says so much really. Does not surprise me at all that Harper and labour are getting along famously.

      I am not Conservative supporter, I vote Libertarian.

  5. Robert Fife declared this a “serious matter” and the ne news loop is highlighting what is the latest sad state of media propagandizing. The issue?

    Someone aquitted of a serious crime “endosed” a conservative. In the media’s attempt to smear the conservatives, Harper must now wear the backgrounds of those who simply support them.

    Meanwhile, a leader of a White supremist organization being in the Liberal caucus drew barely a whisper.

    The last time the prison population was polled they overwhelmingly leaned liberal. One can only imagine the the number of the worst society has to offer, who could be found to endorse the Liberals.

    Such unfair smearing is reserved for the Conservatives. An unfair smear which is now occuppying headlines. I thought it couldn’t get worse. The gutter is apparantl lower than I thought.

    • Boo hoo hoo.

    • You're on the wrong thead.

    • "Meanwhile, a leader of a White supremist organization being in the Liberal caucus drew barely a whisper."


      "The last time the prison population was polled they overwhelmingly leaned liberal."

      Prove it.

    • "Meanwhile, a leader of a White supremist organization being in the Liberal caucus drew barely a whisper."

      Meanwhile, in the Conservative party, you make disparaging remarks against Natives and blacks you become the PM's parliamentary secretary.

    • Where were you when Rights and Democracy were demonizing their Director because he gave funding to an organization whose head gave a speech at which a leader of a terrorist organization was in the audience? You weren't here on these boards screaming that vetting the backgrounds of those attending a speech is ridiculous. I wonder why not?

    • Jesus chet, could you stick to the actual topic at least once in your life?

      • He gets paid by the post, doesn't matter which board.

  6. 'Spending cuts' are one of those rightwing buzz issues like abortion and gay marriage that get their base all wound up, and donating like crazy….but nothing ever actually happens.

    Bush was in 8 years, and in spite of all the talk and the hand-wringing, they still have massive govt, abortion, and more gay marriage than ever.

    In other words, they are issues no one wants to actually 'resolve'…..because then there'd be no further donations. The rightwing always needs an 'enemy' to fight to keep the bucks coming in.

    They go around in circles this way. They'll still be ranting about them 20 years from now.

    • You hit that right on the head!

  7. Bob Fife was just on again. The CPC candidates themselves are “controversial” if any one who supports them had been aquitted of a crime.

    Where did this unfair smear originate? Why with a Liberal candidate.

    So sad to see the media so willing to wallow in the gutter in a futile attempt to prop up their chsen party. Shades of Pravda to be sure.

    • You're commenting in the wrong thread.

      Trying to change the channel on Harper's BS finance numbers?

    • There's "acquitted of a crime," and then there's SIngh Malik getting off the hook for Air India due to RCMP bungling. I can't believe you are trying to justify his endorsement– not merely in an interview, but in literature published by the candidate! What happened to supposed Con tough-on-crime attitudes?

      • You're kidding! This is the innocent Charles is on about?

        How do these people sleep at night, or look themselves in the mirror in the morning.

    • Trying on the new ID chet?

  8. Folks, call me paranoid, but I think there's A LOT more to the Coup/Coalition than meets the eye. And it's not good. For those interested in stopping the hijacking of OUR democracy, please give a gander at: "The Real Co-Conspirators Behind the Coup":

    and tell me if I'm wrong. Please.

    • Gaining the Confidence of the House is not hijacking democracy– if anything, because said Confidence would be from parties that represent the MAJORITY of Canadians, it's MORE democratic. Spin away, we see right through it.

    • In our democracy, the people elect representatives at the riding level and send them to Ottawa as Members of Parliament. Every one of them is democratically elected. Those MPs then vote on the formation of a government, which is also democratic. If a single party has a majority, then a single party rules and holds confidence in itself. If no party has a majority, the House can vote to support a minority party (any minority party or group of parties) or any other group of MPs in the formation of a government.

      You are wrong.

    • That's right 'burp' – you've figured out Margaret Atwood's conspiracy to take over the government.

    • Yes teachers and environmentalists are the problem…get a life burpnrun…the teabaggers in Wisconsin have been spouting the same BS for a few months now. If the duly elected gov't can't keep the confidence of the house the GG can ask another leader. Translation…if Harpers gov't who holds only 30 percent of the votes representing maybe 25% of the population won't play along with the majority of people who elected the rest of parliament then they don't deserve to lead the country. The role of the gov't is to protect the vulnerable people in our society and to regulate where industry won't regulate itself, it is not to promote policies that help the greedy make more money.

    • LOL ahhh the evil unions are in on a 'vast conspiracy' now….not to mention a 'coup'. Do you folks never use dictionaries?

      Unions are yet another buzz phrase to trigger the outrage of the rightwing base.

      'teachers, civil servants, firefighters, police'….is there any group in this country you like??

      They are all Canadians, same as you, and they have a right to their say too. They are not the enemy.

      As to the factory unions, they have enough problems of their own right now without secret meetings and plots and all the other stuff you try to frighten children with.

      This nut calls his blog 'burp and run'. Well he should excuse himself after coming up with this drivel….

      • we like volunteer firefighters, they get a tax credit!

        • LOL yeah, people who work for free.

  9. Wow, what a surprise, that a labour union economist can't imagine any cuts to the government without the sky falling.

    In other news, polls show that children love grandma's cookies.

    T'was ever thus!

    • The article also quotes BMO Capital Markets deputy chief economist and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation director ….none of them say anything about the sky falling, but they do agree with the CLC economist. Entire programs would have to go.

      • On a $200B+ budget, not including debt payments, oh yeah, those $4B per year cuts are really going to hurt the civil service.

        Sorry, that sounds a lot like the sky is falling argument.

        • I should add that corporate welfare, disguised as regional development, alone amounts to $20B per year. There's a good place to start with across the board cuts in compensation for the corporate tax cuts.

        • To cut $11B….programs have to go.

          I dunno what it is with you and the sky…but no one's said it was falling

    • "Wow, what a surprise, that a labour union economist can't imagine any cuts to the government without the sky falling."

      How come labour union economists never suggest reducing salaries instead of cutting programs. Or why are front line people fired first while middle managers/paper pushers continue on in their cushy sinecures. Unions are hinderance and use people for their own ends.

      • Bergkamp, you never answered me about the proposal I gave you the other day. What did you think about it?

      • How come labour union economists never suggest reducing salaries instead of cutting programs.

        I might just as well ask, "Why do people making over 150K a year never volunteer to receive less income, since they already have a lot more than everyone else?"

        Corporations and the business "community" have become economic parasites and a hindrance to any notion of a stable society, and use people for their own ends.

    • Harper will cut ACOA right away cause he hates Peter MacKay and eastern Canada.

  10. Email to CTV Newsnet

    I don't want to be an alarmist, but inadvertently, there was something very disturbing, told Canadians on the CTV News Network this morning, that should be of great concern about the neutrality, impartiality and the role of some members of the media in this election campaign.
    In reporting about a Harper rally this morning, and the questioning of the Prime Minister, Robert Fife told Jackie Milczarek “We'll get him”.
    This conjures up a picture of some sort of conspiracy by some members of the media, to undermine or carry out some subversive attack in the dying days of Harper's campaign, to influence the results of this election or worse – certainly not the role of a supposedly impartial media.
    I think it behooves Robert Fife and CTV, to make public who all constitites the “we”, because otherwise, this is a suspicion and smear of other members of the media who are innocent , professional and not deserving of this accusation of unprofessional conduct.
    Are Canadians , Elections Canada , CRTC and Harper's protective detail entitled to an explanation of this threat? Has the media watch dog been alerted?
    At best Canadians should be warned of the objectivity and neutrality of some members of the media, in their coverage of this election campaign, and that some individual media types are not above distorting and misrepresenting their reports to Canadians.
    The report that include that threat of “we'll get him” aired shortly after 11:00 A.M. CST, and I see any reference to it has been removed since in Fife's reports – for a cover up, and what I would say are obvious reasons. Does CTV brass think that Robert Fife should remain as a reporter on the campaign trail or are their viewers entitled to a more ethical and reputable coverage? Here is the opportunity for CTV to demonstrate to Canadians who have expressed concerns about biased coverage, that they will not countenance any hint of it, on their network coverage of the election campaign and that their integrity is more important than a reporter's personal vendetta.
    I expect CTV will be issuing an apology to their Canadian viewers.

    • Astroturf alert.

    • Treat the media like the enemy and they will return the favour in kind…Mr Harper should have learned this lesson long ago.

    • Well, thank goodness you don't want to be an alarmist.

      I expect you won't be issuing an apology for publicly accusing Fife of being part of a covert conspiracy to commit a "subversive attack" against the Prime Minister of Canada and/or against our democratic system itself.

      Meanwhile, you'll forgive me for waiting to see the actual footage of Fife's alleged threat. If it was broadcast, it's out there, and some enterprising conservative will find it and post it. I think you'll understand why I'd be a little leery of relying on your account and interpretation.

  11. Robert Fife is a tory! everyone knows that…