A quick question about those federal cuts…

Harper created four agencies and at least three of them are a complete waste of money.  One has even been scrapped (see number 2) but its chief exec continues being “funded”.  Think Milton but with much nicer digs and ON the payroll.

  1. The Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board (created by Harper in 2008).

    The agency was set up to perform three functions: set annual employment insurance contribution rates,  invest any EI surplus, and manage contingency funds. But Harper capped contribution rates, nixing that duty; and there has been no surplus to invest and no contingency funds to manage. So far, this waste of space has spent more than $3.3 million for new offices, computers and furniture, high-priced execs, consultants and other staff, travel budgets, expense accounts, and board meetings.  Yet it has nothing to do. “Its published budget for 2011-12 includes giving everyone raises, and moving the entire agency into new offices — all at an expected cost of $1.8 million.”

    “Compensation costs include stipends and expenses for the seven appointed board members, and $244,000 for a couple of executives. The agency’s executive director, retired senior public servant Phil Charko, is being paid about $150,000 a year to work part time. The budget provides another $200,000 to pay an investment manager if the agency ever has any money to invest. Another $300,000 is budgeted for additional corporate services such as IT management, human resources management, and translation services.” EI financing agency spends millions doing nothing, CBC, Jan 19, 2012

  2. Public Appointments Commission Secretariat (created by Harper in 2006)

    “The Public Appointments Commission Secretariat was originally set up to support a commission to oversee hiring processes in Ottawa, a centerpiece of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s accountability policy. When opposition parties blocked the appointment of the first Public Appointments commissioner, Harper scrapped the commission entirely. But the secretariat lives on with an annual budget of more than a million dollars. By fall of [2011], government documents show the Public Appointments Commission Secretariat had spent just over $2.5 million in donated federal services and cash.” Should the Public Appointments Commission Secretariat be scrapped?, CBC, Jan 27, 2012

  3. The Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor (created by Harper in 2011)

    “A mining watchdog agency that was supposed to hold Canadian companies accountable for their actions overseas has done little to protect communities abroad, critics say. In October 2009, the federal government appointed a corporate social responsibility counsellor to probe complaints about Canadian companies committing abuses in developing countries. The Toronto-based office…has received two complaints in the past two years — one of which was recently dropped because the mining corporation chose not to undergo the voluntary investigation.” Mining watchdog agency called ‘bogus PR job’, CBC, Nov 1, 2011

  4. The Office of Religious Freedom (created by socially conservative Christian right wing Harper in 2011)
    An $5 million a year agency to be located in the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa. Harper said its task would be threefold:
    –  Monitor religious freedom around the world;
    – Promote religious freedom as a key objective of Canadian foreign policy;
    – Advance policies and programs that support religious freedom around the world.Separation of Church and State is old skool!

Harper is cutting 19,000 federal jobs and gutting every agency and department under the sun.  How are these four faring? Anyone know?


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