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Hypothetical 2009 Public Trust Green Canadian Budget PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 14 January 2009 07:26
Hypothetical 2009 Public Trust Green Canadian Budget

PEJ News - Joan Russow -
Global Compliance Research Project - REDIRECTION, RELOCATION AND REASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS. MOVING FROM SUBSIDIZING THE MILITARY, INDUSTRIAL, FINANCIAL WANTS TO FULFILLING HUMAN RIGHTS AND NEEDS WITHIN A SOCIALLY EQUITABLE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND ECONOMY.

Given that the Canadian Conservative Government has refused to reveal the exact financial figures in 2009, given that the Conservative government has provided substantial tax cuts for corporations, and given that there is the economic crisis and as a result the 2009 revenue will be considerably lower than anticipated, a budget, with the 2000 revenue of 170 billion, might be applicable.

www.PEJ.org

REDIRECTION, RELOCATION AND
REASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS.


On budget night, February 28, 2000, in the Railroad Room in Parliament, the
2000 Public Trust Green Budget was presented.

All figures are from the 2000 Treasury Board Estimates. Usually the Treasury
Board Estimates are a good indication of what will be in the budget. In
2009, the anticipated revenue is difficult to determine, so all the 2009
figures for the different departments is not knowable. It is clear, however
that the Annual Defence Budget and associated military expenses have
significantly increased to approximately 20 billion. The head of Canadian
Forces indicated recently that there will be sufficient funds for growth.
[Withdrawing from Afghanistan, and reallocating a significant portion of the
military-related spending would be an important contribution to the
stimulation of the economy through the promoting of socially equitable and
environmentally sound development. Another means to stimulate the economy
would be to reallocate the over 8 billion annual "security budget". In the
2000 budget there is also a section on Part of the Problem- POP; this list
includes questionable expenses that probably are still within the subsequent
budgets, and that should be reallocated to stimulating the economy. Subsidies
for the fossil fuel industry and for the nuclear industry should be
canceled, and the savings transferred into adding to the promotion of
environmentally safe and sound renewable energy. The bail-out for the auto
industry must be redirected to the production of public transit and to
development of zero-emissions automobiles, coupled with a fair and just
transition for workers impacted by the transition.

2000 PUBLIC TRUST GREEN BUDGET

Presented February 28, 2000
Joan Russow, (Ph.D.)

PUBLIC TRUST GREEN BUDGET: REDIRECTION, RELOCATION AND REASSIGNMENT OF
GOVERNMENT FUNDS.


MOVING FROM SUBSIDIZING THE MILITARY, INDUSTRIAL, FINANCIAL WANTS

TO FULFILLING HUMAN RIGHTS AND NEEDS WITHIN A SOCIALLY EQUITABLE
AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND ECONOMY

TO COMPLYING WITH AND ENFORCING OBLIGATIONS AND COMMITMENTS
PREVENTING HARM THROUGH ACTING WITH PRECAUTION

THE POLITICS OF PUBLIC TRUST versus THE POLITICS OF VESTED ECONOMIC INTEREST

THE GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP) AS A MEANS OF EVALUATING THE HEALTH OF THE
ECONOMY has been proven to be an inadequate tool. It measures economic
growth, often ignoring the effects of social decline and environmental
degradation. THE "CRITERIA OF PUBLIC TRUST" (CPT) is proposed in its place.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fails to factor in ecological and social
costs and flourishes within the "cycle of error/rectification of error"; the
Criteria of Public Trust" (CPT) serves to break this "cycle of
error/rectification of error" (See Annex of Criteria of Public Trust).

The Federal Government has consistently demonstrated misplaced spending
priorities

The Public Trust Green Budget is a diagram which illustrates department by
department spending as detailed in the "Treasury Board Estimates 2000" with
comment on how the department funds could be redirected, relocated, or
reassigned.

REDIRECTION, RELOCATION OR REASSIGNMENT OF FUNDS:

The Public Trust Green Budget builds on the 1999 Public Trust Green Budget
which stressed the need to redirect, relocate or reassign funds from
subsidizing military, industrial and financial wants to fulfilling human
rights and needs within a socially equitable and environmentally sound
economy.

In the 2000 Green Public Trust Budget a distinction is made among
"redirecting" "relocating" or "reassigning" funds. "Redirecting" would be
moving funds within the same department but allocating the funds for
different purposes. For example, funds in the Department of Agriculture
would be redirected from subsidizing genetic engineering and chemical
dependence to promoting organic farming and other forms of ecologically
sound farming, and instituting a fair and just transition for farmers and communities. Similarly, funds in the Department of Natural Resources would
be redirected away from subsidizing the fossil fuel and nuclear industry to
promoting environmentally sound alternative energy. In the Department of
Fisheries, funds would be redirected from promoting aquaculture to
preventing destruction of fish habitat and preserving wild stocks. Likewise,
in the Department of Transport, funds would be redirected away from
subsidizing automobile use to promoting systems that facilitate the moving
away from car-dependency.

On the other hand, "relocating" of funds means either allocating
funds from one department to another department, or to a newly designated
department. An example of "relocating funds" would be the relocation of
funds from the Department of Defence to the Department of Finance for
transfer payments for health care, 3 billion to Finance for transfer
payments for education, 1 billion to the Department of Human Resources, for
an Anti-Poverty Fund, and .34 billion to the Department of Environment.
Similarly "relocating funds" would be the relocation of 10,000 from the
salaries of MPs, Senators and the Governor General into an Anti-Poverty Fund
for poor children and their families.[Transfer payments to the provinces in
the Department of Finance to assist in the eradication of child poverty.]

An example of "relocating" to a newly designated department would
be the relocation of funds from the Department of Industry to a new
department responsible for implementing "Fair and Just Transition and
Conversion".

Finally, "reassigning" of funds would be the elimination of a
department and its budget and reassigning the allocated funds to a similar
or different purpose. For example, the Department of Indian and Northern
Affairs should be dismantled and the funds in the Department reassigned and
transferred to First Nations communities for them to create and implement
their own policies within a framework of international principles.

Few will deny that there is an urgent need for change. Political
action happens when it does not conflict with vested economic interests. The
political response to issues - like erosion of health care, environmental
degradation, disintegration of communities, over-consumptive models of
development, globalization through corporate control, and privatization of
essential services - has been mostly ineffectual.

If positive change is to occur, it must come as a reflection of
global public trust, rather than at the whim of vested economic interests.
For over fifty years, through international agreements, member states of the
United Nations have incurred obligations through conventions, treaties and
covenants. Member states of the United Nations have also made commitments
through the UN Conference Action Plans, and created expectations through
General Assembly Resolutions.

The Year 2000 begins the official UN Decade Promoting the Culture
of Peace. The Culture of Peace will be in place when there is global
implementation of the Public Trust International Law. Canada and other
member states of the United Nations have undertaken, but not implemented,
the following actions within public trust international law:

1. Promote and fully guarantee respect for human rights, including
labour rights, the human right to unadulterated, healthy food, housing and
health care, and social justice;
2. Enable socially equitable and environmentally sound development;
3. Achieve a state of peace, justice and security;
4. Create a global structure that respects the rule of law; and
5. Ensure the preservation and protection of the environment, the
respect for the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose, the reduction
of the ecological footprint and moving away from the current model of
over-consumptive development;

Unfortunately, Canadian Governments continue to undermine these
international obligations, commitments and expectations.

The public trust concept reflects the interdependence of the above issues.
For too long government departments have been functioning within a
fragmentary model, rather than addressing the interdependence and complexity
of the public trust. The Public Trust Green Budget diagram displays the
spending priorities concurrently, department by department, so that the
connections among departments can be examined, and a comparative analysis of
spending priorities can be made.

The Minister of Finance claims that a surplus of revenue exists
beyond current Treasury Board Estimates. This anticipated surplus could be
allocated to the furtherance of the Public Trust as outlined above, and the
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an estimate of economic value could be
replaced with the Criteria of Public Trust (CPT). Increase transfer payments
for universal, accessible, non-two-tier health care service, and for higher
education for the promotion of corporate-free higher education (all
intrusion by corporations into university research should be disallowed).

Debt and phasing out of sunset industries coupled with a fair/just
transition program for affected workers and communities.

The debt, which currently stands at roughly 580 billion, could be reduced
through immediately addressing the corporate/individual tax imbalance. Tax
contribution by corporations in relation to tax contributions by individuals
was almost at 50% in 1950 (48% individual/46% corporate); now the
corporate/individual tax ratio has declined to less than 12% by corporations
and increased to 86% by individuals. The Canadian Economic Observer in
June, 1991 estimated that "a reduction in corporate taxation was a cause of
the debt". Additional revenue from the increased corporate tax should also
be directed to the phasing out of sunset industries, coupled with a
fair/just transition program for affected workers and communities.

BUDGET COMMENT

Note: figures apart from those that are suggested for redirection,
relocation and reassignment are from 2000 Treasury Board Estimates.

REVENUE: 170,000,000,000?

2000 (152 BILLION + 18 BILLION ANTICIPATED SURPLUS) 2009 REVENUE

Surplus funds (if materialized), 12 billion/per year could be redirected
from corporate subsidies to support social justice, human rights,
environmentally sound development, increasing transfer payments to ensure
the human right to a universal non-two-tier health care system, the human
right to unadulterated healthy food, the human right to housing; to provide
access to social programs--including pensions, child benefits, child care,
and access to higher education. The commitment made at UNCED to .7% of GDP
to be spent on socially equitable and environmentally sound development in
the South has to be realized.

EXPENSES: (+..5803) 151,559,228,000 (as per Treasury Board Estimates
including 42,5000,000 debt servicing (21% of Revenue)

GDP 1998, 895 billion; projected GDP 2000 PROJECTED GDP 2009

DEBT: Total debt is 580 billion, 20,000 per person. Debt reduction:
institute an inheritance tax: first 200,000, no tax; up to 500,000, 25%, and
over 750,000, 75%.

The debt, which currently stands at roughly 580 billion, could be reduced
through immediately addressing the corporate/individual tax imbalance. Tax
contribution by corporations in relation to tax contributions by individuals
was almost at 50% in 1950 (48% individual, 46% corporate); now the
corporate/individual tax ratio has declined to less than 12% by corporations
and increased to 86% by individuals. The Canadian Economic Observer in June,
1991 estimated that "a reduction in corporate taxation was a cause of the
debt". Additional revenue from the increased corporate TAX should also be
directed to the phasing out of sunset industries coupled with a fair/just
transition program for affected workers and communities.

DEPARTMENT BY DEPARTMENT COMMENT

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

*AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD (1,976, 310,000)
renamed ECO-AGRICULTURE

Citizens have a human right to unadulterated healthy food. The human right
to unadulterated healthy food is essential and must be based on the
precautionary principle. The Food Inspection Branch in the Department of
Agriculture has been derelict in the exercising of its duty to protect the
food supply in Canada. Funds from the Department of Agriculture must be
redirected from "working with the Agribusiness sector to develop and produce
competitive products and processes, to increase production...to help
position the Canadian agri-food sector to meet its objectives.." to
promoting and supporting organic farming and other ecologically sound
farming practices, and to assisting farmers and communities to ban GE foods
and crops and convert from pesticide-dependent and GE-dependent farming and
communities.

All research grants to universities must be directed towards promoting the
public trust.

2000 NATIONAL DEFENCE (10,304,500,000)
[2009 PROBABLY 20 BILLION]


1999 was the culmination of the decade devoted to the furtherance of
international law, and 2000 is the beginning of the Decade of a Culture of
Peace. A culture of peace will be achieved through the "force of
compliance". Through over 50 years of international agreements, the Canadian
Government has incurred obligations, made commitments and created
expectations related to the promotion of the public trust. In a General
Assembly Resolution from 1981, for example, expectations were created that
governments would reduce the military budget. The Canadian government has
the opportunity of being at the forefront of promoting a culture of peace by
reducing the military budget and relocating 3 billion into health care, 1
billion into higher education, 1 billion to Human Resources into an
'Anti-Poverty Fund for poor children and their families, and 304,500,000, to
the Department of Environment. Two billion could be redirected into
conversion programs linked with just transition programs for affected
workers, and 3 billion redirected into a natural and anthropogenic disaster
prevention and mitigation training program and into promoting a culture of
peace through the "force of compliance". This program could be used to
prepare the Canadian military for the expected increase in weather-related
events brought about through climate change. This program could also be
mandated to prevent risks incurred by the Federal Government such as the
berthing of nuclear armed or nuclear-capable vessels, the continued use of
bases such as the Nanoose Weapons Testing Range, and the use and disposing
of depleted uranium from military activities. 304,500,000 transferred to the
Department of Environment to supplement the cost of restoring sites damaged
through military activities.

2000 DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE
3,388,038,000{2009  }


388,000,000 should be relocated to the Department of Canadian Culture for
the promotion of "Safe Anti-Racism Sites" and implementation of the
International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination. Funds should be redirected from subsidizing international
vested economic agreements to implementing international public trust
agreements.. Rather than acknowledging obligations, commitments and
expectations under International Public Trust agreements, the Canadian
Government only appears to adhere to perceived privileges and demands under
international vested interest agreements or institutions such as WTO, NAFTA,
GATT, APEC, NATO. The Canadian Government has failed to sign and ratify
significant conventions, such as the Law of the Sea and the Convention on
the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families. When Canada does sign and
ratify international public trust agreements, it often has failed to
implement the necessary legislation to ensure compliance. Canada has also
made commitments through UN Conference Action Plans. The funds in Foreign
Affairs must be relocated to and redirected towards the promotion of and
compliance with the Public Trust International Law. The Canadian Government
should support the call for the dismantling of NATO for violation of
international law, and should work towards the dismantling of the WTO and
APEC and other vested interest international agreements for contravening
International Public Trust Law. Funds in CIDA must be redirected away from
subsidizing the vested economic interests of Canadian industries but into
supporting the public trust. While continued levels of funding for CIDA
should be at current rates, funding to support Canadian corporations in
developing countries should be terminated immediately and redirected to
projects that are socially equitable and environmentally sound and that have
been conceived and executed in consultation with disenfranchised citizens of
partner countries. The funding for IDRC should be maintained but its mandate
extended to include also the failure of international agreements to be
implemented in Canada.

DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRY (3,502,284,000)
[DEPARTMENT OF JUST TRANSITION][2009]


Rename the Department of Industry to the Department of "Just Transition"

Redirect 2,000,000,000 to fair and just transition programs for workers and
communities affected by conversion of sunset industries to socially
equitable and environmentally sound development and employment. In the 1999
Public Trust Green Budget there was a recommendation to relocate the funds
in the Department of Industry away from subsidizing corporations and
corporate-beneficial research. To address the challenges of the 21st
century, Canada must move away from policies of economic growth at any cost.
In the future, the Canadian Government must act with foresight to prevent
the entrenchment of socially inequitable and environmentally unsound
practices. Canada is in a situation where a transition and conversion policy
is necessary to phase out, or ban socially inequitable and environmentally
unsound practices. Public policies must direct public funding to ensuring a
just transition for workers and communities economically affected by these
transition policies. There must be a national commitment to implementing the
public trust throughout the country with a fair distribution of the effects,
and an obligation to communities and to maintain full income and
all-inclusive targeted transition assistance for working people who are
dislocated as a result of the implementation of specific policies until they
can find comparable work. Workers and the communities affected by the policy
must be involved in the decision-making process from the development of the
terms of reference and throughout the process, and that the decision-making
process must be based on the fundamental principles of Just Transition
supported by respective unions. Redirect 1,502,284,000 from the National
Research Council and Natural Science and Social Science and humanities
research to socially equitable and environmentally sound projects. The
research must not be linked to industry or "partnershipped with industry".

SOLICITOR GENERAL (2,727,095,000) - 500,000,000[2009 ]

Redirect funding into a new training and education program for CSIS and RCMP
to assist them in distinguishing between dissent and subversion, in removing
preconceptions, stereotypes, and prejudice, and not in violation civil and
political rights and into retraining programs fostering respect for the
public trust. Redirect funding also into disciplinary action for violation
of civil and political rights and for having discriminated on any designated
ground. The emphasis should be on crime prevention through social programs,
rather than incarceration. Redirect CSIS funding of .16 BILLION into
International cooperation supporting Non-Governmental Organizations that are
promoting the public trust. Redirect .003 billion from the National Round
Table -an arena of competing interests condoning conflict of interest -
Principle-based Advisory Compliance Enforcement (PACE) -- a principle-based
decision-making process promoting the establishment of Criteria of Public
Trust. PACE will not be sector-based but principle-based, drawing upon
expertise and experience of members of the community. 500 million relocated
from the Solicitor General to Social Justice and Development (Human
Resources) to promote youth-related programs.

PUBLIC WORKS AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES (3,811,119,000)
[2009 ]


Funds relocated from Parlamentarians (@3,00,000,000), from Senators
(@1,000,000), from the Governor General's budget (@3,00,000), to Human Right
to Housing Fund. At Habitat II (1996), Canada made a commitment to develop
environmentally sound human settlements in consultation with community
organizations and individuals, particularly those that have been
traditionally marginalized from the decision-making process. Ensuring that
all Canadians have access to housing is not only the right thing to do, but
also is a human right recognized under the International Covenant of
Cultural and Economic Rights, 1966. Redirect, as proposed in 1999, 1.63
billion from the Department of Public Works to implement commitments made
though Habitat II, in particular, funds from Canada Mortgage and Housing
should be redirected to guaranteeing the human right to housing.

JUSTICE (885,697,000)

Last Updated on Monday, 27 July 2015 15:36
 

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