Just over two weeks later, some answers

03Dec09

I wrote a post a few weeks ago that looked way back at a Globe and Mail article from 1995. It hinted at the massive cuts to social programs planned by the then-governing Liberals who were, of course, in deficit-slaying mode.

I asked three questions in that post, two of which I will repeat below:

1. How long will it be before these kinds of stories resurface in Canadian media?

2. Can any government of any political stripe avoid this outcome (assuming they do want to avoid it)?

It took until today for the first question to be answered. The Globe‘s Bill Curry penned a story headlined “The price of Ottawa’s stimulus: Here come the cuts” that warns of future measures to reduce federal spending. The lede is thus:

The Harper government is warning that tough decisions lie ahead as its attention shifts to phasing out the stimulus and tackling the billions in red ink created by its two-year spending spree.

Staffing budgets for public servants will be tightened and grant money for non-profits nationwide is expected to become scarce. It is the type of spending circled Wednesday by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty as the source of future savings.

There were few specifics, of course. But public servants and non-profits suffered before, so it would not bew new for them to suffer again.

Which leads to my second question, which was also partially answered today. The Tories have it on the record that they’re going to make cuts — maybe not the biggest surprise, but nonetheless an important declaration — and that they will make no attempt to avoid them.

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