Having visited the CBC website today, I couldn't help but notice that some of the opinionists over at our public broadcaster are spooked about Stockwell Day reducing government spending in the near future. They are stirring up concerns among public sector unions that Stock may attempt to shave pensions for unionized public employees. Lest we forget, in March 2005, the Corporation had about 9,700 full-time employees, and of those 90% is unionized. The CBC receives 2/3 of its funding from parliamentary appropriations. The CBC's two largest production facilities are in Toronto and Montreal. You can start to see a conflict of interest emerging. The most absurd part of the story is that Stock didn't say he was going to cut public pensions, he just "failed to address" public pensions. So they are making a story out of something that was not included in the Minister's speech.
Do you think that when they report "public sector workers were left worrying about the fate of their pensions after Treasury Board president Stockwell Day stressed Ottawa's commitment to bring the deficit under control Wednesday" that they would mention their own status as a largely unionized public entity with a potential conflict of interest? Not at all. Instead they are trying to rally support for their stake holder's position. They used to following statement by Stockwell Day to suggest that he will be cutting programs "just as Canadians have made significant sacrifices to maintain their own finances they expect their government to do the same...Debt reduction is a pathway that we need to be moving along."
And of course what do you think was the lead story on the Soloman Show? Public pensions, with special guest Jack Layton. Of course Jack is trying to spin this on all pensioners, drawing all sorts of fantastical conclusions based on statements that were never made. Jack is really trying to sell that everyone who is on or will ever collect a pension will have all their money ripped away by oil companies. I'm waiting for Jack to drop a Bush reference...wait for it...wait for it...boom!
The idea that we can't cut spending to government institutions that spend way too much money is ludicrous. I once ran a poll on this issue, and the vote was a tight one:
How would you prefer to reduce the deficit?
Cut spending (95%)
Raise taxes (5%)