It might not be foreseeable for the common Canadian citizen and even the government to see the looming dangers of the unfolding economic wars. The unfolding war is squarely between the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) and the Ministry of Finance.
The war is solely on the budget cut which, as claimed by the finance minister, Jim Flaherty will only affect what he termed as the back office. On the contrary, the parliament asserts that only 15 percent of the budget will cater for internal services.
With 15 percent gone to the internal services, the rest of the savings that is 85 percent is bound to be sourced from services that will have an effect on the people. These are the services that are very essential to them.
A spreadsheet, involving information regarding government departments on ways to implement the 5-10 percent cuts that have to be sourced by the various federal government departments has been published by PBO.
Health Canada, being a huge department, has not offered detailed information of how many of its programs will be affected by the substantial cut on their budget.
The puzzle is, despite the approval of the cuts, ministers are giving no or very little information with regard to the budget slashes that will affect the programs and the services. These are indeed some of the things that are primary and beneficial to the general public.
Kevin Page, the parliamentary budget officer, together with his staff in their comparative analysis managed to link the performance indicators on the 2012 budget and the information about the budget slashes.
From the comparative analysis results, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in its food safety program is likely to be hit with a $19 million annual cut. To be in compliant with the federal regulations, the food program had targeted 98 per cent of the federal establishments.
To the amazement of many Canadian citizens, the Agency never released the most important information. This is the kind of information that would have made it clear to the people the effects of $19 million cut on the 98 percent target.
Despite the Minister of Finance claiming that from the 19,200 jobs that will die away, 7,000 will disappear through slow distraction. On the flip side, Mr. Kevin page was also able to unravel that the figure points to 500 jobs only.
The Privy Council Office, in support of the ministers, laid a claim that angered Mr. Page. They said that information regarding job cuts is way off the mandate of the PCO. This forced Page to seek legal opinion regarding his mandate, which is still pending on his part. Kevin page clearly stated that he could not do his job as the adviser to the parliamentarians on matters touching on the finance of the federal government without such crucial information. He went ahead and called the parliamentarians and the people of Canada to put pressure on the government to release this information.