Monday, July 13, 2015

Why spending cuts by the Harper government are causing them political harm

There is a feel good article in the Globe's Report on Business today titled, "Aboriginal women lead the way in Canada’s labour markets". The story focuses on recent labour market success on the part of non-reserve Aboriginal women citing the case of Krystal Abotossaway as an example. The first in her family to go to university graduating in 2013 she now works in human resources for RBC.

Another part of the story quotes another aboriginal woman, Patricia Baxer, an Ottawa-based consultant on aboriginal issues as saying, “I think aboriginal women have more opportunities now than ever before....” She went on to say "she’s seen entrepreneurship, in particular, spike."

Later, deep in the story, there is this paragraph:
Ms. Baxter, the aboriginal entrepreneur, still sees challenges: Less federal funding for aboriginal organizations has hurt progress, she says, while young people still need better access to training opportunities, particularly in more isolated communities. “I can’t really stress enough that I feel that this government has really reduced opportunities and development with aboriginal communities. I don’t think they’ve responded to aboriginal issues in a clear way. In fact, if anything, they’ve reduced them, so aboriginal communities, and organizations are really, really struggling to even keep their doors open,” she says.
Multiply this experience many times over along with the corresponding reactions that have taken place across the country in many diverse places and circumstances, and you get some idea of why Stephen Harper's popularity has plummeted. When it comes government spending cuts there is no free lunch.