"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

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.