Cutting The Deficit Faster
#1. Cut Immigration in Half.
The Department of Immigration and Refugee Board has a budget of roughly $600 million. Cut the budget in half to $300 million. Accept 50% less immigrants and refugees in order to make this cut reasonable for the bureaucrats in the department. This way, not only do we all save money, but Canada can take a much needed break from the immigration firehouse.
Savings - $300 million
Total Savings - $300 million
#2. Cut Western Economic Diversification Canada.
With a budget of roughly $430 million. What do they do exactly? Mostly dole out grants to favoured projects. What do they really do? The usual white collar sweatshop stuff I’m sure...Facebook, coffee runs, online shopping. I don’t really know. My assumptions ring true though don’t they? If you can easily correct this notion, go for it, but I suspect you easily can’t...which is why we should just scrap it.
Savings - $430 million
Total Savings - $730 million
#3. Privatize the CBC.
Coming in at $1 billion is the CBC. It’s 2013 and we don’t need a state broadcaster anymore. Canada is a big boy country now and as much as I enjoy watching leftists debate policy on Power & Politics, I’d rather get rid of the deficit.
Savings - $1 billion
Total Savings - 1.73 billion
#4. Cut the Military budget.
Currently the military budget in Canada is $22.5 billion. This amounts to less than 2% of our GDP and ranks #14 on a world scale. Many people, including myself, believe a well funded military is needed for the safety and security of the nation. However, let’s be honest. We’re not going to get invaded Red Dawn-style anytime soon and we’ve got a lot of top heavy bureaucrats hanging round the office playing online RISK all day. Why not gamble on not being invaded within the next five years and just slash the budget in half? Mothball some of the antique ships and postpone the new jets. Fire a mass of people up top and restrict openings for the young guys coming in from the bottom. Assess again after five years.
Savings - $10 billion
Total savings - $11.73 billion
#5. Stop Growing Transfers to the Provinces.
When taking power in 2006, Stephen Harper promised not to cut transfers to the provinces like Jean Chretien did in the mid-90’s in order to balance the budget. This was supposed to position him as the moderate conservative he desperately wanted voters to see him as. It worked. Now, however, would be a good time to simply stop the yearly growth of $2 billion, every year since the 2005-06 budget. Freeze it all. This way, inflation will work it’s magic and Harper can claim he hasn’t broken his promise because he didn’t cut any transfers to people or provinces..
Savings - $2 billion
Total savings - $13.73 billion
#6. Eliminate the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
When was the last time you heard of a fantastic success story coming out of the Maritimes and learned that the reason for the success was free government money? Yeah, me neither. This can be cut for much the same reason as Western Economic Diversification.
Savings - $300 million
Total savings - $14 billion
#7. Cut the Canadian Space Agency.
I loved watching Commander Chris Hadfield sing Space Oddity as much as anyone, but other than the Canada Arm do we really have much of a ‘Space Program’? Sending up weather balloons and giving lectures to elementary school kids about what zero gravity feels like...it’s cool and all, but is it $400 million cool?
Let’s cut it and just live vicariously through Star Trek-like movies and the endeavours of other countries hemorrhaging borrowed money for these fantasies.
Savings - $400 million
Total savings - $14.4 billion
#8. Cut Canadian Tourism Commission.
Promoting tourism is the job of the private sector. The governments of the provinces and territories also compete amongst themselves for tourism dollars. Let them. We don’t need a federal department pitching Canadian vacations to foreigners.
Savings - Almost $60 million
Total savings - $14.46 billion
#9. Cut the National Film Board.
When’s the last time you said, “I have a great weekend planned. I’m going to grab a pizza and check out the new 16 minute long National Film Board presented hand drawn animation film which explores the inner life of a sexual deviant in the 1930’s!”? The National Film Board started at a time when Canada was made up of fur trappers and railway builders. In 2013, this organization panders to the fringe elements of our welfare dependent art world. Most normal people are happy if they can afford to check out the latest Brad Pitt movie, but our taxes are being firehosed towards art projects that most people don’t care about.
Savings - Another $60 million
Total savings - $14.52 billion
#10. Cut the subsidy for political contributions.
The idea is that political parties need cash and people need an incentive to donate. This keeps democracy healthy. The problem is that people can donate a lot of money and then get most of it back in credits when filing their income tax. Most people have no affinity for politicians and watching Canada’s political parties make due with less, would be just fine with mainstream Canadians.
Savings - $50 million
Total savings - $14.57 billion
I could list another ten things and then another ten after that. It’s quite easy since there are a multitude of things that Harper’s Conservatives can cut and change in order to reduce the deficit faster and harder. Here’s a link to browse the extravagance for yourself.
In the meantime, keep pushing the party to do more and strive harder. As inspiring as it is to see a Conservative government heading into year 8 on the national scene, we need to remember why they’re there in the first place.