An excerpt from: http://www.itincanada.ca/index.php?cid=311&id=17078&np=1
SIBs are no easy sell
By: David Zussman
May 29, 2012
On March 29th, the federal government brought down one of the most anticipated budgets in recent years.
The budget contains a number of different themes. The first includes new spending initiatives such as for aboriginal schools, the Pan Am Games, the Coast Guard and Via Rail. The second theme contains a number of policy initiatives that have been sitting in the Department of Finance’s in basket for years but could not find sufficient support from previous governments. These include the abolition of the penny and the raising of the OAC threshold from 65 to 67.
The third theme highlights reducing the size of the federal government by announcing some selective cuts and promising to become more efficient. In this category the government sliced the CBC budget by $100 million, eliminated Katimavik (a Trudeau era youth program), and did away with the Public Appointment Commission (part of the Federal Accountability Act).
In many ways, this budget is reminiscent of several mid-1990s budgets when the Liberal government sought to remedy the fiscal situation by encouraging the creation of alternative service delivery (ASD) mechanisms as a means of making government more cost effective. At the time, the government avoided getting on the New Public Management bandwagon by choosing instead to pursue a non-doctrinaire approach to ASDs by looking for ways to experiment with new governance and delivery models.
In the recent March budget, the Finance minister continues this approach to deficit fighting by declaring his intentions to look at a new ASD model in the most indirect way possible. In the finest example of bureaucratese, Jim Flaherty states that, “the government will continue to explore social finance instruments as a way to further encourage the development of government-community partnerships.”
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