Tomorrow is Budget Day in Canada. It's when the federal government lays out its plans for your money — which programs and services it will introduce or expand and which it will cut or shut down.
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Budgets are about choices—choices about what kind of country we are and what kind of things we value as a society. So while a lot of coverage will focus on what is or isn't in this year's budget, it's important to look at this federal budget as a continuation in a long line of choices.
So let's ask, "What choices have been made so far?"
Clearly, the answers aren't good.
- 1.5 billion in cuts to the environment by 2016.
- 5 oil spill response offices closed across Canada.
- 8.4% cut to rail transportation safety.
- 99% of rivers and lakes now exempt from federal regulations.
- $56 million in cuts to Canada's food inspection system.
- 35 government libraries closed.
- More than 5,000 job losses at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada, Fisheries and Oceans and Agriculture Canada over the next three years.
- Over $298 million in government advertising since 2009-2010.
- All while federal fossil fuel subsidies add up to more than $1.38 billion.
These budget choices paint a picture, and it doesn't look good for the health of our communities and the people and places we love.
Tomorrow's federal budget will represent another set of choices about what kind of Canada we're leaving for our children and generations of children to come.
Check back here for analysis about what those choices are and what you can do about them.