Strategic Review: Save a half a billion dollars by not cutting things!


Now it is Human Resources and Skills Development Canada’s turn. This arrived yesterday from Phil Harwood at Minister Diane Finley’s office:

HRSDC’s strategic review did not include transfers to individuals such as Old Age Security/Guaranteed Income Supplement, Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance or the Universal Child Care Benefit. Nor will the review affect front-line services to Canadians.

The purpose of HRSDC’s strategic review was to identify ways in which the Department could focus on its core tasks, continue to modernize services to Canadians, and operate more efficiently.

Our Government is committed to ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used effectively, responsibly and provide concrete results. Canadians work hard for their money and they expect their government to use it wisely. At a time when Canadians are concerned about balancing their own pocketbooks, they want to know government is doing the same.

My reply:

Hi Phil. Thanks for this. It’ll be useful.

I have to ask, though: the Canadians I talk to aren’t just interested in knowing THAT the government is balancing its books, they’d like to know HOW. You’ve identified a bunch of stuff you WON’T be doing to save more than half a billion dollars over three years. What are you doing? What’s being cut? I did not think it was a difficult question.

Thanks pw



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Strategic Review: Save a half a billion dollars by not cutting things!

  1. “You’ve identified a bunch of stuff you WON’T be doing to save more than half a billion dollars over three years. What are you doing? What’s being cut?”


    I like snarky, keep up the snarky, Wells. 

    Taxpayers see massive deficits and high salaries, no evidence yet of any cuts to bureaucracies. 

    “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride” is not policy, Harwood. 

    “A recent analysis by the C.D. Howe Institute shows the total wage bill for federal civilian employment grew at an annual rate of almost seven percent between fiscal years 1999/2000 and 2009/2010 … ”

    “While enrolment at the Catholic school board has declined, spending on administration has jumped 30 per cent.”

  2. 10 bucks says they “saved” money with nothing more than a change in an accounting process. Any takers?

  3. Hmmm. It is perhaps becoming clear what’s up here.

    The official media line is that this is no big deal, there is an orderly review process taking place over the fall, and “modest” and harmless cuts will happen starting next fiscal year.

    However, it’s looking as though that is just a cover story. In fact, the cuts are being decided now and are already starting to be implemented. Budgets are being reduced, programs rearranged and cut, and contract people being let go.

    I presume most gallery members will be content to let this all unfold according to the fictional schedule, and will regurgitate the prepared press releases next spring about what happened in the “review” period.

    And if any of the few remaining curious types in the gallery jump the gun and start reporting what is actually already happening, then they will, as usual, be isolated from the herd, severely mocked and not sent xmas cards by the PM.

    Seems like a workable plan to me.

    • I don’t know what is scarier; if they have cut $500 million and won’t tell anyone what services/offices are being cut or if they have not cut anything but just claim they can operate for less than last year.

      I hope they have decided to stop obsolete training programs (like the telegram operator training subsidy) and that they are closing offices in urban areas where there are 2 offices within 100m. Though that would not be too hard information to disclose…

  4. It’s quite obvious that the sitting member for Parry Sound-Muskoka is almost a Crook by using funds to fix things in his riding, I know that area, its a very poor section of Central and Northern Ontario so I can see why the Mayors of these small Towns and Villages leaped at the chance to enrich there area with Tax payers money that the Federal Minister was too willing to give them, shame on them and also double shame on the Member!

  5. Efficiency is code for getting half a ham sandwich out of a young person instead of the whole ham sandwich from an old person at 4 times the salary. Comprends?

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