What Harper’s Done to Canadian Social Programs

I wrote this for rabble.ca some time ago but never did blog it.  I’ve been trying to find it for some time because it’s in need of an update. Here it is.  Please feel free to use the comment box below to add the other places Harper’s axe has landed since this was written.

What Harper’s Done to Canadian Social Programs

by Bernadette Wagner

In September 2006 our boy, Steve Harper, pulled out his axe. Here’s a little review of where the axe fell.*

Aboriginal Programs

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada “operational efficiencies” = $3.5 million cut

“Unused funding” (re: Nunavut) = $50 million not re-allocated or otherwise made available

Elimination of funding for First Nations and Inuit Tobacco Control Strategy = $10.8 million cut

Status of Women Canada

“Administrative savings” = $5 million cut (40% of budget), job layoffs, offices closed, organizations unfunded, their offices also closed.

Skills and Literacy Programs

Literacy division of HRSD under one banner = $55.4 million cut

Youth employment subsidies for businesses and organizations = $17.6 million cut

Elimination of the Canada Labour Business Centre

Statistics Canada

“Organizational efficiencies” = $15 million cut & reduced ability to collect vital data

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

Social economy research program (community outreach) = $2 million cut

Health Canada

Policy Research Program eliminated = $7.5 million

“Health portfolio efficiencies” = $28.1 million was cut through

Foreign Affairs

Youth International Internship Program eliminated = $10.2 million cut

Delays and cutbacks on international postings and outreach programs at Canadian embassies = unknown but substantial cuts

Law Commission of Canada

Eliminated = $3.2 million cut, including two large scale projects on indigenous law and vulnerable workers

Court Challenges Program

Eliminated = $5.6 million cut and no legal assistance for equity-seeking groups who do not have the resources to take forward a legal challenge.

Treasury Board of Canada

Training programs for civil servants = $82 million cut

“Unallocated funds across all departments” = $18 million cut

Elimination of advisory panels in Revenue Canada and Agriculture Canada = unknown amount cut

* This information was culled from a Canadian Association of University Teachers Commentary

Leave a comment


  1. and :
    Medical Marijuana Research Program- eliminated
    Museum Assistance Program – funding cut
    One Tonne Challenge – 40% budget cut
    CMHC – funding reduction
    Canadian Heritage Centre – eliminated
    Canadian Volunteerism Initiative – eliminated

    Thanks, TRM.
    We forget what we used to take for granted.

  2. I’m really afraid to find out what he has lined up come March 3. YIKES! Can you say…poison pill? Watch him take advantage of Layton’s illness

  3. http://lists.von.ca/pipermail/fasd_canadian_link/2009-March/001139.html

    Federal money earmarked to fight the
    tragedy of fetal alcohol disorders has been
    quietly chopped back year after year, says a new report.

  4. Monica Lysack

     /  February 8, 2010

    Let’s not forget about his first official act as PM: cutting almost a billion dollars of CHILD CARE funding to the provinces, territories, and aboriginal governments. Why? As Supreme Court Justice Rosalee Abella pointed out in 1984 as the chair of the Royal Commission on Equality in Employment, child care is the ramp to equality for women.

    Check out the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada’s website for more analysis of the devastating impacts of these and other cuts. http://www.ccaac.ca

  5. Jarvis Brownlie

     /  February 9, 2010

    Good job with this list. Another major thing was the elimination of the Court Challenges Program, which provided support for charter challenges by rights-seeking groups. I don’t know the dollar value of that cut, but its effect on human rights is obvious.

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