9 ridiculous things the Conservatives could have cut instead of the Vancouver Coast Guard station.
On April 8th, 2015 a malfunctioning tanker spilled a still undetermined amount of bunker fuel into Vancouver's English Bay. A coast guard station located in nearby Kitsilano "would have been able to respond to the incident in six minutes and with the proper equipment to contain a spill from spreading across the water and onto the shoreline." However, it was closed in 2013 by the Conservative government. As a result the spill response took six hours and the spill washed up on beaches and shorelines across the greater Vancouver area.
The Conservatives saved $700,000 per year by closing this coast guard station. Here is a list of several ridiculous things they could have cut instead:
Ads about how safe Canadian oil is. The Conservatives have spent $22 million and counting on ads that promote "safe" and "responsible" tarsands oil overseas.
Limos. Each Conservative Cabinet Minister has a personal limo driver who makes an average of $48,000/year (for a grand total of nearly $2 million per year). We already pay these cabinet ministers an income that is higher than 99% of us. Seems like they could afford to pay for their own limos.
Hockey jerseys and pucks. The Harper Conservatives have spent $530,000 on personalized hockey pucks and jerseys.
Overtime for limo drivers. In a single year Conservative Minister's paid their limo drivers over $600,000 to wait around for them.
Fancy jets. In a two year period Conservative Minister Peter Mackay spent over $3 million using Challenger jets. One of the flights cost $200,000 alone.
- Fighter jets. The Conservatives bought a fleet of F-35 jets but underestimated the cost by $12-$81 billion dollars. Yes, billion.
Tax cuts for people who don't need them. The $2.2 billion dollar Family Tax Cut announced in 2014 will benefit fewer than 1 in 6 households, plus "middle and middle-high income households benefit most". It is clearly not designed to help low-income families. Instead of handing this money out to people who don't really need it, the lost tax revenue from just one year could have paid to keep the coast guard station open until the year 3729 -- and we'd still have $1 billion left to spend on social services like education and health care or private jets and hockey pucks (though we don't condone that).
Financial handouts for the world's wealthiest corporations. "The International Monetary Fund estimates that energy subsidies in Canada top an incredible $34 billion each year in direct support to producers and uncollected tax on externalized costs." That's a lot of money being handed over to oil companies.
A $90,000/day consultant who helps the government save money. The Conservatives paid a consultant 90k a day (for a total of $19.8 million) to help save money and balance the budget by 2014. Apparently their expert advice included cutting the coast guard and keeping all this other shit. Oh and also, the budget wasn't balanced in 2014.
Austerity is sacrificing the common good for corporate profits.
It affects everyone.
Austerity keeps migrant workers from exercising their rights, rolls back environmental regulations, muzzles scientists, undermines unions, keeps women earning less than men, and prevents Indigenous people from taking care of their lands, all while spending billions on war.
Learn more @ UnitedAgainstAusterity.ca