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UPDATE: Council launches anti-austerity campaign web-page in advance of March 29 federal budget

The Council of Canadians has launched a campaign web-page on the austerity agenda and its impacts.

While austerity measures fuel ongoing massive protests in Europe, the Harper government is implementing its own austerity agenda here in Canada. Treasury Board president Tony Clement has made it clear that the federal government is looking to cut $1 billion in federal spending this fiscal year, $2 billion in 2013-14, and $4 billion by 2014-15. Government departments and agencies have had to submit proposals to cut their own budgets by 5 per cent and 10 per cent. The Harper government is also paying Deloitte Consulting nearly $20 million – almost $90,000 a day – to advise them on where ‘savings’ can be found. The first big cuts are expected to be seen in finance minister Jim Flaherty’s budget on March 29.

Harper’s austerity agenda will mean job loss, cuts to public health care and pensions, and it will be devastating for the environment. He intends to do all this under the shadow of serious allegations of “robocall” electoral fraud. He also intends to pursue this agenda with the authority of an election in which he received just 39.62 per cent of the vote, but 54.22 per cent of the seats in the House of Commons due to our skewed electoral system. If we had some form of proportional representation, the Conservatives would have won just 122 seats, 45 fewer seats than they now have and not a parliamentary majority.

To see our campaign web-page, please go to www.canadians.org/austerity.

Canadians will need to find new ways to mobilize as they never have before to stop Harper’s austerity agenda. The Council of Canadians is committed to that mobilization.