A Season for Sacrifice
Optimistically we assume that our elected representatives are working in our best interest. It can therefore logically be inferred that the recent cuts by our federal government to social and environmental programs, will at least provide the majority of Canadians with the rich quality of life that previous generations of Canadians worked so hard to create for us.
So why is our government asking us to sacrifice our social and ecological health for the all-pervading importance of the economy?
First let us define three key words in this discourse: society, economics, and ecology. Society is defined as a system of human organizations generating cultural institutions providing protection, security, and continuity for its members. Economics is simply known as the rules governing a household. And, Ecology may be understood as the natural order and wisdom of the household.
It would make sense then that the natural order and wisdom of the household would thus determine the nature of the rules created to govern that household. As follows, the rules—the sacrifices we are being forced to make should then protect the cultural and natural heritage that shapes the values defining our home and native land.
So, where did the axe fall in the recent budget; and, are these cuts protecting our national identity?
Well, some of the deepest slashes hack violently into what remains of Canada’s cultural and natural integrity. Culturally we step backwards terminating all funding to the First Nations Statistical Council at the end of this fiscal year. Also, the budgets of the CBC, and the National Film Board will be reduced by 10%. Socially we are sacrificing the National Council of Welfare as it also sees its funding come to an end. As well, araise in the age of recipients of old age security from 65 to 67isbeing justified because some Canadians are living longer, and therefore seniors may prefer to work a couple more years into our sixties. How many of us would truly rather sacrifice two years of our retirement?
Environmentally we continue to tarnish our reputation, losing the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy to another complete obliteration of funding. Furthermore, Environment Canada is losing 10% of its workers due to the recent cuts. Consequentially, we give up the benefits derived from such services as the environmental assessment process, weather forecasting, and water quality monitoring. All negligible, don’t you think? Unless maybe you live downstream from the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil sands pipeline project, or maybe you have a crop to protect from hail, or perhaps you cannot afford bottled water to drink, wash and cook with.
Small cost for what we stand to gain? What do we stand to gain? I guess maybe we can expect the fossil fuel sector to allow some of the $1.4 Billion per year we shell out in federal subsidies, and special tax breaks to trickle down back into our pockets through cheaper prices at the pumps. Start holding your breath now...Happy Earth Week!