The Federal Government has just announced $1 Billion in spending cuts on the heels of a $13 billion surplus.
Now, re-evaluating government spending is not necessarily a bad idea, but in this case, it speaks quite loudly to how the HarperCrit government is going to go about implementing the socially conservative policies that have always been there, even if Steven doesn't want to talk about them.
A few of the "highlights" of these cuts that underscore my point:
Women's rights and equality: Administrative reductions to Status of Women: $5 million.
Considering that SoW is primarily a funding disbursements agency, I suspect that $5 million is a sizeable chunk of their staffing budget. Of course, you can't disburse funds if nobody's around to administer things, can you. In future years, we will see the CPoC declaring this department as "redundant" because they have "unused funds".
Medical Research: -End to medical marijuana science funding: $4 million.
Unsurprising - the CPoC thinks of marijuana as a criminal offense, and they aren't the least bit interested in understanding how it helps people with long term, debilitating diseases.
Environment: -Removal of unused funds for mountain pine beetle initiative: $11.7 million
I see - so the most dangerous creature to our forestry industry in Canada doesn't matter? Brilliant thinking there, but considering that Rona Ambrose thinks that 17 owls left doesn't constitute an endangered species, I'm not surprised.
Civil Rights: -Elimination of of Court Challenges Program: $5.6 million.
For women and minority groups, this is a significant cut. This program provided funding which enabled minority groups to challenge major injustices in legislation. This is a subtle, but nasty cut. Minority groups are often very small, and their ability to raise funds for such challenges independantly is limited.
In a broader view, this particular change signals that this is a government that is not willing to tolerate challenges to its legislative initiatives. They know that much of what they want to legislate cannot stand detailed scrutiny before the courts, so they want to make it as difficult as possible for the challenges to be launched and sustained through our legal processes.
Now, for all this, the government has achieved a $1 billion total cut in government program spending. This is less than 1% of the total government budget of some $212 billion in expenditures - kind of makes one wonder about the intentions of the government, doesn't it?