December 05, 2006

Creating Efficiencies By Cutting Access

In an earlier post, I had mentioned that Harper cutting access to the Status of Women programming was tantamount to cutting the program. I was implying that in spite of being forced by the opposition parties to keep the Status of Women program running, he was cutting access by closing 12 of 16 offices and therefore not having to provide the same level of funding to the program. An obvious attempt to appease the lobbyist group REAL Women, a social conservative group, after failing to shut the program down, which they originally lobbied for.

Anyway, my implication may not have been right on the mark. Apparently, they are going to keep the funding in place. The plan is to redirect the savings from the beurocratic side of the program and place it directly into programs. This is obviously just pure spin.

Sure, the funding might still be there on paper but it doesn't mean it will be used. At the end of the fiscal year, the unused money will show up as surplus in the government's budget. And how are they going to have a surplus in the program? They are cutting access to the program. If women can't get to an office to access the personnel or the resources that are supposed to be available, then the Status for Women program isn't being used. If the program isn't being used, then money isn't being spent. This is nothing more than spin-doctoring at its worst and for an ideological purpose that doesn't mesh with the ideals of most Canadians.


wilson61 said...

I can't remember the last time I visited a government office.
As do most people, I use the
1-800 number, or the internet, or snailmail.
The offices were closed because of the very low foot traffic for just these same reasons; the extra $700,000 in savings was ''added'' to the program funds (the funding was increased).
That makes sense.

But I do get your point about surpluses. If the money is earmarked for womens programs, maybe any surpluses should be diverted to a women's program pool.
I personally would like to see more mobile (bus) mammogram units.

Kyle said...

I don't disagree with you, that many services are now offered through methods that negates the need for a physical office. But I worry that some of the services that this program offered are directed at women who have been marginalized in some way. Therefore having quality access via an electronic method may be limited. This is a bit of an assumption, I'll admit.

I like your idea of submitting any surpluses into a pool for future use or program development, rather than having it reclaimed at the end of the fiscal year. It would definitely give people a signal that this government is making a committment to women across the country.

Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)