Related rabble.ca story:
OTTAWA -- Monday's federal budget is expected to unleash one of the biggest assaults on the public sector in Canada's history, says a new Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
The report gives Canadians a sense of what to expect from the Harper government's first majority budget, telegraphing a hard shift to the right.
"Despite the government's stay-the-course rhetoric, the budget will lay the foundation for the most aggressive assault on public service delivery in Canadian history," says AFB Coordinator David Macdonald.
Did you know that the Conservative minority government is smuggling certain controversial measures into its upcoming federal Budget Bill C-9? While all eyes are on the Rahim Jaffer/Helena Guergis scandal, some other shady business is getting overlooked.
Items that might prove unpopular, exposed to the light of public scrutiny, are being packaged and sold as part of a Budget that is quickly working its way through Parliament. The Conservatives are counting on the opposition's reluctance to have an election to get their Budget approved. But it is essential that the package is opened and its contents handled with care.
Federal budgets are about priorities. The numbers in this week's budget will underscore the Harper government's prioritization of corporate profits and war. Canadian military spending is now the highest it has been since World War II. Canada is one of the top 15 military spenders in the world and the sixth largest of NATO's 28 member countries.
Have you ever considered a career on stage? Do you like to manipulate peoples' emotions to make them fear catastrophe and then worship you when you save the day? Perhaps you should consider a career running the country's finances.
As an aspiring actor, you no doubt admire the pomp and circumstance of the throne speech. But the political theatrics go far beyond that. These days the politics of the federal budget book are worthy of a Broadway spectacle.
Federal fiscal theatre has it all. There is anxiety-provoking drama, a valiant superhero and a (not so surprising) happy ending. This week's throne speech is just one more glamorous soliloquy to remind us who to credit when the hero triumphs just in time to enhance the Conservatives' fortunes in the next election.
It's budget season everywhere, and it's all about debt and deficits and the elusive quest to balance the beast, which can only be done, it is said, by cutting services or raising taxes.
The burden of interest charges -- on the same scale as health or education in most provincial budgets -- doesn't get questioned because interest is fixed by the gods according to divine law, retribution from which we can only escape through harsher and harsher penance.
Or is it? Let's chew on a couple of startling points.