CAUT analysis of federal budget

Excerpts from various federal budget commentaries of interest to academic librarians listed below. Among the issues is the fate of Library and Archives Canada – which was dealt a $ 9.6 million reduction in funding.

CAUT notes the funding reduction, in among other problematic cuts, with dangerous changes to the support for research funding.

The CAUT analysis concludes:

Budget 2012 is an unneeded and unjustified exercise in austerity. It dramatically downsizes government at a time of rising inequality, a soft labour market, record high household debt and diminishing opportunities for young people and the unemployed. There is nothing in the budget to provide real help to the unemployed, to address pressures in the health care system, to combat poverty and homelessness, or to invest in education and training.

The government’s deliberate inaction on a range of pressing social issues needs to be questioned. Given that the fiscal situation has improved, more could have been done to sustain the recovery and help confront some of the major social and environmental challenges we face. Even a reversal of last year.s corporate tax cut would have freed up nearly $6 billion for health care, seniors, the environment, and education. In fiscal 2011-12 alone, it is estimated that tax cuts introduced by the Conservative government will cost more than $50 billion in foregone revenue. Budget 2012 missed the opportunity to revisit these poor decisions made in recent years.

CLA’s statement was generally positive, with no comment about the budget’s impact on culture and research. CLA’s statement reads in part:

“Yesterday the Federal Minister of Finance, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, presented Budget 2012, entitled “Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity.”

This year’s federal budget outlines a plan to return to a balanced budget in the medium term.  The government remains on track to balance the budget by

2015-2016 and possibly sooner.

Budget 2012 highlights some small, targeted initiatives that will be beneficial to the library community in years to come.  These are highlighted below.

It is also important to note that the budget did not highlight any points related to the Community Access Program (CAP).  CLA will be reaching out to key decision makers to obtain a full status report on CAP, and will report back to CLA members in the short term.

Included are the projected cuts for Library and Archives of Canada and other cultural and arts organizations.  In aggregate  numbers, cuts to Library and Archives of Canada are the smallest; however, CLA will be closely monitoring the overall impact of these spending projections.

CARL continues the boosterism of its parent organization the AUCC- the opening line of its statement is:

“The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) would like to commend the government.s commitment to Canadian research and innovation as demonstrated in Budget 2012…”


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