- Bill Curry reports on the Cons' latest public-sector slashing. But there hasn't yet been much discussion of the most alarming number: upwards of 30% of the Cons' cuts are coming from the Canada Revenue Agency, which at last notice already lacked sufficient staff to properly collect tax revenue. Which means that the Cons' plans continue to have everything to do with attacking federal fiscal capacity, and nothing at all to do with balancing the budget.
- Meanwhile, the Cons have apparently discovered the value of having audits of government activity conducted by experts with experience in the public sector:
The latest records released under the Access to Information law show Tining had found out from the privacy commissioner’s staff that Stoddart planned to hire outside specialists to do an audit of how veterans’ information was handled.Which naturally raises some question as to why they've eliminated the the public auditing service put in place to provide exactly those benefits for federal departments.
“Given the significant impacts on our department from the findings of the initial investigation, I wanted to take this opportunity to ask you to reconsider this approach in favour of using your own staff,” Tining wrote in a letter to “Jennifer.”
“I believe it would be in our mutual interest that the auditors be very familiar with federal government operations and have the benefit of being sensitized to the environment in which we are all working.”
- Andrew Coyne writes about the potential for a guaranteed annual income - and rightly notes that the only real issues with such a plan involve turf wars and the need to establish a reasonable set of accompanying incentives. But lest anybody think there's much to be accomplished by merely trying to make minor incremental changes to benefit programs, Thomas Walkom points to Jordan Brennan's CCPA study on how increased inequality is largely the result of severe power imbalances.
- Finally, Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher break the news that Elections Canada was well aware about complaints about the Cons' false robocalls before the 2011 election. But the most worrisome aspect of the latest revelation is that while Elections Canada intervened in court to present its side of the story as to what happened in Boris Wrzesnewskyj's Etobicoke Centre challenge, it hasn't done anything to correct the public record in response to the Cons' debunked claim that issues of fraudulent phone calls were never raised until after the election.