scissors-visulogik0by2.0_thumb-1.jpg
scissors-visulogik0by2.0_thumb-1.jpg This article is more than 8 years old

No joke: string of Tory cuts kick in on April 1

On Day 1 of the federal government’s fiscal year, here’s a sampling of Conservative cuts coming to Canada. Health care Tuesday marks the start of $36 billion in Conservative cuts to Canada’s health care system after the 10-year health accord expired on March 31. The $41 billion agreement with the provinces provided stable funding and […]

On Day 1 of the federal government’s fiscal year, here’s a sampling of Conservative cuts coming to Canada.

Health care

Tuesday marks the start of $36 billion in Conservative cuts to Canada’s health care system after the 10-year health accord expired on March 31. The $41 billion agreement with the provinces provided stable funding and set common goals for wait times, home care and prescription drugs.

Instead of negotiating a new accord, the Tories unilaterally established a new formula: a 6% annual increase until 2017, after which funding will be tied to economic growth.

By scaling back the growth in Canada Health Transfer payments, Jean-Denis Frechette, Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer, says the formula sets in motion the downloading of billions of dollars in health-care costs to provinces. Advocates of medicare say this sets the table for huge service cuts and a renewed push for privatization.

The revised formula now in effect also means the federal contribution for health will drop to 14.3% by 2037, according to estimates of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and Society of Actuaries. To put this in perspective, when publicly funded health care was first introduced in the 1960s, Ottawa and the provinces shared the costs equally. By 2012, federal contributions had fallen to 21%. Now, they’re set to drop even more.

Infrastructure

The Building Canada Plan expired on Monday, resulting in an 87% cut in federal infrastructure spending over the next two years. Last fiscal year, the fund had $1.65 billion available, but that drops to $210 million in 2014/15 and 2015/16.

And the new infrastructure fund, amounting for $14 billion over 10 years, has some unexpected strings attached. These new criteria, announced earlier this year, came as a surprise to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and “has prompted concerns that government would reduce access to some funds for local roads, as well as imposing new caps on the amount of the federal money… that could be used for each project,” Postmedia News reported.

Canada Post

As part of major restructuring at Canada Post that reduces services and raises prices, it now costs $1 to buy a single first-class stamp. If you buy stamps in bulk, it will cost 85 cents, a 35% jump from Monday. Until now, increases in the price of stamps were in lock-step with inflation rates.

The next step is the end of door-to-door mail delivery in cities across the country, affecting 5 million Canadians. After gutting services and hiking prices, is privatization next? That’s certainly what many are pushing.

Departmental cuts

Beginning today, departmental cuts to program spending totalling $14 billion begin to get phased in.

Lapsed departmental funding 

Every year, departments and agencies lose billions of dollars allocated in the federal budget if the money goes unspent. The funding, announced with fanfare in the federal budget, is quietly returned to government coffers at the end of the fiscal year (March 31). The public won’t know the details of this year’s lapsed funding, but here’s a sampling from last year to give you a sense of the scale of what’s to come in lapsed funding: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development ($369.9 million), CIDA ($298.4 million), Veterans Affairs ($172.9 million), Environment Canada ($125.6 million), and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency ($34.3 million).

Happy April Fool’s Day.

Photo: visulogikUsed under a Creative Commons BY 2.0 licence.

Our journalism is powered by readers like you.

We’re an award-winning non-profit news organization that covers topics like social and economic inequality, big business and labour, and right-wing extremism.

Help us build so we can bring to light stories that don’t get the attention they deserve from Canada’s big corporate media outlets.

 

Donate
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2022-10-02 Video

Pierre Poilievre Claims He’s a Friend of the ‘Working Class’. He’s Spent Years Attacking Canadian Workers.

Related Stories

Video

UCP Leadership Candidate Danielle Smith: Pay Workers With ‘No Skills’ a Lower Minimum Wage

View the post
Video

Far-Right Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Praises Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre

View the post
News

Amazon’s Use of “Massive Loophole” in Labour Law Hinders Courier Union Drive

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Newspapers always have a business section – why not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get Canadian Labour News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers.
We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get Canadian Labour News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers