So, that was the federal budget. What can we say? Some 19,000 federal jobs to be cut over three years, two thirds of which will likely be by attrition, while also tightening public sector pensions. (Note: the total public service still will remain larger than when Harper took office.) Raising the eligibility for OAS to age 67 by 2023. Ten percent of the CBC budget over three years. Buh-bye Katimavik. Cuts to CIDA and several officers of Parliament, the brunt of which will be the chief electoral officer, but before you get jumpy, remember that Elections Canada can draw from the Consolidated Revenue Fund to make any investigations it needs to, so it’s not like the Conservatives can starve out the Robocon investigation, no matter if that’s what it may look like, so take a deep breath and relax. There are cuts to Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credits that industry actually is not in favour of. Greater tax-free thresholds for cross-border shopping. It’s going to go after charities that take foreign funds (a direct sop to the ethical oil crowd who want Tides Canada reined in). They’re imposing timelines for environmental assessments of major projects (but I’m a little concerned about the utility of this exercise when a good chunk of these assessments are actually provincial jurisdiction). And they’re getting rid of the penny, which just seems like the most obviously gimmicky distraction to everything else that’s going on.
Over in the Senate chamber, Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth took her caucus colleague Senator Nicole Eaton to task for her “foreign money” inquiry, as Eaton tries to prove that all of these environmental groups getting foreign funds are somehow subverting our democracy and undermining our economy.
Here’s more about Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz telling a class of teenagers that they should be armed – especially young women, in order to avoid being sexually assaulted. Because that’s worked so well in the States.
And as of today Conservative ministers spend the next few days making good-news announcements about the budget, which we all know is a huge priority for Canadians.