Stephen Harper’s first budget as a majority government leader wasn’t as bad as feared – at least for some, especially those who feared jobs would be cut in the hundreds of thousands. But for youth, the environment and the public broadcaster, the budget was disastrous.
The public service is staring down the barrel of 19,200 job cuts. Federal program spending will be dealing with a cut of $5.2 billion a year. Canadians under 52 will now not be able to collect Old Age security until age 67 – a two year extension of the retirement age.
The Department of Foreign Affairs, the core of Canadian diplomacy, will face cutting $170 million, with rumoured closings of Canadian consulates in the US on the horizon. Ambassadors’ residences and other properties abroad — valuable properties filled with pride and heritage — are to be sold. The Department of the Environment is being hacked, leaving it toothless in the face of increasingly aggressive corporations who wish to gain access to Canada’s natural resources. The world renowned youth program, Katimavik, has been axed.† And Elections Canada, who coincidentally (?) are in the middle of investigating reports of election fraud in over 200 ridings in the very same election that brought Harper to power, have had their budget slashed.
The hardest hit victim, though, was the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the historic public broadcaster that is thoroughly loathed by the Harper government. The CBC has been singled out for a vindictive 10% cut across the board, far more than any other department is facing and obviously aimed directly at crippling the left-leaning public broadcaster.
Next week, we will post a series of articles on each of these cuts, detailing exactly what the impact shall be on Canadians and the future of the environment, the poor and the public in Canada.
Photo: World Economic Forum