Where to find savings for the upcoming budget

- March 2nd, 2012

I first posted the list below at the beginning of January, offering it up as some guidance for the Harper government when it comes to cutting the deficit.

There are far too many government departments from a government that spends far too much. They need to cut.

I’ve reposted my list below, take a look at the full list of departments here and give Jim Flaherty some more guidance before the March 29th budget.

I’ve been saying that everyone should look at the list of government agencies, departments and so on and ask where Jim Flaherty should cut. Of course I already suggested $140 million in cuts by eliminating the foreign aid that we give to members of G20, we’ll see if they respond to that.

But with 225 departments, agencies, boards etc. eating away at taxpayers dollars, the cuts have to be deeper. Here are some thoughts. I welcome yours.

The Canadian Dairy Commission should go. Here’s how the CDC describes itself.

“The Canadian Dairy Commission is a Crown corporation which was established in 1966 with the mandate of coordinating federal and provincial dairy policies and creating a control mechanism for milk production which would help stabilize revenues and avoid costly surpluses. ”

According to the Treasury Board’s main estimates, the CDC costs us $3.9 million a year. Forget about whether supply management and price control is a good thing or not, the fact is that each province also has its own bureaucracy for this. Leave it to them, scrap this beast and save the $3.9 million.

Did you know that the federal government owns a giant fish company in the form of Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation?

“The Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation, a self-sustaining federal Crown corporation created in 1969, is the buyer, processor and marketer of freshwater fish from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Northwest Territories, and part of Northwestern Ontario. The Corporation’s mandate is to purchase all fish lawfully fished and offered for sale, to create an orderly market, to promote international markets, to increase fish trade, and to increase returns to fishers. Profits, in the form of final payments, are distributed annually to participating fishers.”

It may truly be self-sustaining because I did not find a line item cost in the main estimates but why do we own a fish processing company? Why not sell it? And why if Canadians believe in freedom for wheat farmers do we not believe in freedom for fishermen?

The International Development Research Centre costs $207 million from the Foreign Affairs budget and acts as a different kind of CIDA, this one aimed at boosting research in developing countries rather than feeding people.

“IDRC supports applied research to find local solutions that will have lasting impacts on communities around the world. We are facilitators, drawing together the best scientific minds to collaborate on finding knowledge that works. ”

If we are cutting services to Canadians do we need this?

What about a body designed to co-ordinate between levels of government that has an exact replica at each provincial level? Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you a body that I can live without, the  Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat.

“In Canada, the power to govern is shared between the federal and provincial governments. With such a constitutional arrangement, there is a great need for governments to communicate, to consult each other, to harmonize their policies and programs, coordinate their activities, resolve conflicts, and, in some instances, develop policies jointly.”

Total cost is $6.6 million and I bet the feds and provinces could still have all their meetings without using this boondoggle.

That’s just a start, more ideas to come.

Where would you cut? Remember, we are deeply in debt.

 

Categories: Government debt

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6 comments

  1. Donald Campbell says:

    A good way to trim Government spending would be to,
    1) Go through the Departmental “Org” charts and identify those positions that are identified being filled in an “acting position” or are just simply left as “unfilled”.
    2) Close down those positions that have not been filled with a full time employee for an extended period of time.

    What the Departments do is play “musical chairs” with these positions, filling them with a stream of “acting” employees to make them look like they are viable positions. When, in effect, they are just using these empty positions to maintain their Salary, O&M, Capital, and Program budgets. The majority of these positions were previously held by retirees, or employees who have been promoted, or … employees that are presently occupying other “unfilled” positions in the organization.

    Every so often, when a program ends up with too many of it’s positions “unfilled”, the Department rolls that section into another program… and the process starts all over.

  2. Herb Putterman says:

    What about cutting bilingualism and multiculturalism as well as equalization payments when the have not provinces, like Quebec, have more benefits than the rest?

  3. Cal Fischer says:

    1. sell the CBC savings 1.1 billion per year plus profits from the sale.
    2. cut funding for multi-culturalism
    3. remove charitable status & tax political action commitees such as the David Suzuki Foundation
    4. cut elitest welfare to the Arts community
    5. Reduce funding for post secondary education [why should I pay so someone else can get rich with a degree]
    6. ensure student loans of medical personel and other professionals be 100% repaid before they can leave to work in a foreign country
    7. Cut civil service by 40% and impose a hiring freeze
    8. cut all civilian employees at RMC & NDHQ and replace them with uniformed personel [will result in huge savings & a stonger military]

  4. John Kane says:

    Worked there for many years and it has probably passed its best before date like many of the crown corp. and agencies started in 60s & 70s. The real issue is the jurisdiction and funding mess Fed, Prov. and Municipal. Cities are in the worst position every thing they do is at the whim of the prov.

  5. Bill Elder says:

    Where to save?
    One word (acronym actually) – CBC.

    When this billion dollar white elephant has been unloaded onto some unsuspecting sucker err, uh I mean “private interest” we can start dismantling the redundant departments of government which already exist in all ten provinces.

    Ahhh but ‘tis only in dreams we achieve the ideal.

  6. Rick Dempsey says:

    Robocall 2004
    Happened to me ! Got a call from the Liberals asking if they could count on my vote. After explaining why not, he understood. When I received my voters card, it told me to go to the wrong riding. After fighting with Elections Canada on the phone, they ok’d me to go to the correct riding. Also a man that owned our neighborhood convenience store told me that some people in Chinatown were selling their voter cards (you didn’t need ID at that time, now you do). So NDP Pat Martin was dead wrong on the news last night when he said this has never happened in Canada before. Shame on him.

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