Friday, March 30, 2012

March 30: Budget..buzz.buzz..no more pennies..buzz--efficiency...buzz..

The news services are doing their usual incoherent job of presenting the news on the federal and provincial budgets. Their "news" is mostly quotations from politicians speaking the their usual buzz words...responsible, effeciency, live-within-means,........ most of which don't mean a damn thing.

In fact, the cuttings, firings, government attacks and protest resignations have been going on ever since Harper became P.M. Funny how most of our news services have missed them.  He's a partial list....
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Stephen Harper’s hit list, organizations whose funding has been cut or ended

Filed under: Conservative Party, Stephen Harper, Elections, Human Rights — admin at 9:29 pm on Friday, March 25, 2011
The Conservative government, or the Harper government as it insists upon being called, has either fallen or engineered its own defeat and the election is upon us. This is perhaps a good time to take stock of who the Harperites have spent their time attacking in the past several years. (They have also lavished favour on their own, appointing them to be judges, to the Immigration Review Board, the CRTC or other federal agencies). The list of organizations that have been shut down and cut back, and the individuals bullied, is a long one and we can expect it to grow if, as seems likely, the Conservatives are reelected. I have written extensively about some of these actions, including the government’s attack on the ecumenical group KAIROS and the shameful treatment of the Rights and Democracy organization, but the following list, culled from on line sources, is more comprehensive.
Organizations/ watchdogs whose staff have been fired, forced out, publicly maligned, or who have resigned in protest:
·       Canada Firearms Program (Chief Supt. Marty Cheliak, Director General)
·       Canadian Wheat Board (Adran Measner, President and CEO)
·       Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (Linda Keen, chair)
·       Foreign Affairs (Richard Colvin, diplomat)
·       Military Police Complaints Commission (head, Peter Tinsley)
·       Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces (Yves Coté)
·       Parliamentary Budget Officer (Kevin Page) (funding cut)
·       RCMP Police Complaints Commission (Paul Kennedy, chair)
·       Rights & Democracy  (International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development – Rémy Beauregard, President)
·       Statistics Canada (Munir Sheikh, Deputy Minister)
·       Veterans Ombudsman (Col. Pat Stogran)
·       Victims of Crime, Ombudsman (Steve Sullivan)
Community organizations, NGOs and research bodies reported to have
been cut or defunded [see note 1 below]
·       Action travail des femmes
·       Afghan Association of Ontario, Canada Toronto
·       Alberta Network of Immigrant Women
·       Alternatives (Quebec)
·       Association féminine d’éducation et d’action sociale (AFEAS)
·       Bloor Information and Life Skills Centre[2]
·       Brampton Neighbourhood Services (Ontario) [3]
·       Canadian Arab Federation
·       Canadian Child Care Federation
·       Canadian Council for International Cooperation
·       Canadian Council on Learning
·       Canadian Council on Social Development
·       Canadian Heritage Centre for Research and Information on Canada
·       Canadian International Development Agency, Office of Democratic Governance[4]
·       Canadian Labour Business Centre
·       Canada Policy Research Networks
·       Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women
·       Canada School of Public Service
·       Canadian Teachers’ Federation International program
·       Canadian  Volunteerism Initiative
·       Centre de documentation sur l’éducation des adultes et la condition feminine
·       Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)
·       Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples (Toronto
·       Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada
·       Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Specialink
·       Climate Action Network
·       Community Access Program, internet access for communities at libraries, post offices, community  centres
·       Community Action Resource Centre (CARC)
·       Conseil d’intervention pour l’accès des femmes au travail (CIAFT)
·       Court Challenges Program (except language rights cases and legacy cases)
·       Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010).
·       Democracy Council[5]
·       Department of Foreign Affairs, Democracy Unit[6]
·       Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010).
·       Environment: Youth International Internship Program
·       Eritrean Canadian Community Centre of Metropolitan Toronto (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010)
·       Feminists for Just and Equitable Public Policy (FemJEPP) in Nova Scotia
·       First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
·       First Nations and Inuit Tobacco Control Program
·       Forum of Federations
·       Global Environmental Monitoring System
·       HRD Adult Learning and Literacy programs
·       HRD Youth Employment Programs
·       Hamilton’s Settlement and Integration Services Organization (Ontario) [7]
·       Immigrant settlement programs
·       Inter-Cultural Neighbourhood Social Services (Peel)[8]
·       International Planned Parenthood Federation
·       Kairos[9]
·       Law Reform Commission of Canada
·       Mada Al-Carmel Arab Centre
·       Marie Stopes International, a maternal health agency – has received only a promise of “conditional         funding IF it avoids any and all connection with abortion.
·       MATCH International
·       National association of Women and the Law (NAWL)
·       Native Women’s Association of Canada
·       New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity
·       Northwood Neighbourhood Services (Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010).
·       Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH)
·       Ontario Association of Transitional Housing (OAITH)
·       Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
·       Pride Toronto
·       Réseau des Tables régionales de groupes de femmes du Québec
·       Riverdale Women’s Centre in Toronto
·       Sierra Club of BC
·       Sisters in Spirit
·       Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
·       South Asian Women’s Centre[10]
·       Status of Women (mandate also changed to exclude “gender equality and political justice” and to ban all advocacy, policy research and lobbying
.       Tropicana Community Services
·       Womanspace Resource Centre (Lethbridge, Alberta)
·       Women’s Innovative Justice Initiative – Nova Scotia
·       Workplace Equity/Employment Equity Program
·       York-Weston Community Services Centre Toronto
Notes:
[1]  “Defunding”  is the term used by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. In many instances, it is about turning down grant applications rather than cutting off funding midstream, but for organizations who rely on renewed program funding to support their work, and have done so for many years, it amounts to the same thing.
[2]   Citizenship and Immigration Canada Cut or significantly reduced their principal funding – approximately $471,000. Source: Globe and Mail.
[3]   Cut in the last few years by federal government because of alleged mismanagement: Source
http://www.canadianimmigrant.ca/learn/newsitems/article/7935
[4]   The Office of Democratic Governance, which channeled much of Canada’s democracy funding, has been disbanded by CIDA.
[5]   A forum for discussion and collaboration among Canadian democracy promotion agencies. It has reportedly disappeared despite stated earlier commitments and interest from both government and NGOs to see it continue and even expand.
[6]   Folded into the Francophonie and Commonwealth division.
[7]   Cut in the last few years by federal government because of alleged mismanagement: Source
http://www.canadianimmigrant.ca/learn/newsitems/article/7935
[8]   Cut in the last few years by federal government because of alleged mismanagement: Source
http://www.canadianimmigrant.ca/learn/newsitems/article/7935
[9] Including Anglican Church of Canada, Christian Reformed Church in North America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Mennonite Central Committee, Presbyterian Church in Canada, United Church of Canada, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Canadian Religious Conference, and the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.
[10]  The Centre has lost $571,000 - all of its federal funding - which represents nearly 70 per cent of its overall budget. Source: Globe and Mail.
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The general rules which we should all heed are - don't be a women, don't be in favour of democracy, don't let your church do anything to help anybody who needs it, don't be a native person, don't get involved in any group that helps veterans, don't be an environmentalist, don't be victim of crime, don't ever complain about the police. Oh, and don't be an arab.
 
Neither Ottawa nor Moncton looked at the outstanding economic problem of the last four decades, at least - the stunning growth of the incomes of the upper one percent as compared with the even more stunning growth of poverty for most of the rest.
 
That wage gap is not only shameful, it has every possibility of destroying the glue that holds western societies together and (prepare to shed a tear) destroying the upper one percent themselves. Common sense should tell that one percent that they cannot forever prosper in societies in which fewer and fewer have any money to buy the goods they turn out.
 
Unfortunately, greed will conquer brains every time. We see it every day right here in New Brunswick.  This is the province in which we can't afford to maintain our schools, or help our poor, or maintain our health services but, hey, a hockey rink for a hundred million or so? No sweat.
 
This is all part of the greatest economic and social problem of our time. Niether Ottawa nor Fredericton even noticed.
 
Obviously, neither Ottawa nor Fredericton has given much thought to protecting the environment, But both will 'streamline' procedures for resource development.  Translation - let the shale gas games begin.
 
At the local level, Fredericton will enourage landlords to lower rents by reducing property taxes. And I'm sure landlords will immediately pass those savings on. After all, Fredericton has a long record of protecting tenants. Ever read the standard rental agreement designed by the government? Ever notice that it makes requirement of the tenant - but none of the landlord. The provincial Rental Board operates in the same way. It's all to protect the landlord.
 
There's another and more serious problem with the federal budget. It is a budget that will affect us for generations. It will be passed by a government with the support of about a quarter of all Canadians. It is also a government charged with very serious violations of electoral law in the last election. There is no doubt that the violations occured. What we don't know is exactly who did the dirty work - and just how widespread it was. And Mr. Harper has not shown the slightest interest in finding out.
 
There is every  possibility that this budget, that will certainly pass, is a budget from an illegal government.  And I have yet to see a news source that mentions that.  So much for democracy.
 
Oh, and neither level of government intends to increase taxation of the rich. Of course not. That's the single most important thing they could do to attack the fundamental economic crisis of our time. But they won't. It takes a strong brain to climb a mountain of greed.
 
Oh, the Ottawa budget story on p. C11 is headed 'Soldiers evade direct hit but bureaucrats to feel the pinch'. That's because the direct hit on the soldiers was done before the budget when the government got rid of the soldiers' ombudsman. 
 
The big story on the federal budget which heads the NewsToday section in the TandT is "Penny-pinching: Canada to phase out copper coin". What a sense of priorities!
 
The truth is that both budgets have ignoredthe biggest problems we face - the impoverishment of the many to satisfy the greed of the few; the poisoning of our earth, air and water to satisfy the greed of the few.
 
I wonder when the few will get smart enough to realize they, just like us commoners, rely on the same earth, air and water.
 
PS -I'd like to talk about the sign law issue in Dieppe. It's a subject I have some experience of. But, since it's not about the TandT, I'll save it for a late night supplement.
 
 
 

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, the one percent of entitled elitists will always be with us. It was how the great pyramids were created;

    It was how the Roman Empire flourished; the British Empire; currently the American Empire, and so on...

    Inevitably, as we glance through the lens of history, today's level of corruption will ensure a self-implosion of destruction once again.

    Only this time, we risk something new; both a social and environmental collapse is simultaneously possible, as the juggernaut of extreme wealth for the few marches on.

    Its like watching a disaster movie unfold, except this one never ends. Cheese doodles anyone?

    ReplyDelete