Thursday, November 3, 2016

CFIA creates flap over fees

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is creating a flap over a proposal to start charging fees for services it provides for agriculture and food exports.

I think this is simply bureaucrats fighting for budgets.

It’s typical that political masters call for budget restraints.

It’s also typical that bureaucrats don’t want to cut budgets.

And so a typical response is to propose cuts to the programs and services likely to raise the biggest public backlash.

And, presto!, the proposed cuts are nixed and budgets remain relatively untouched.

It’s also typical in budget-tightening exercises to cut things, not people, even the least productive, most bothersome nuisances.

What’s needed is more canny politicians who can make their own choices about budget priorities, not simply react to snivel-service proposals.

As to the proposal to charge fees for export services, our competitors in global markets must be rubbing their hands in glee and such patent stupidity.

Almost every nation, including Canada, offers incentives to export.

And the agriculture minister of the day always issues news releases to announce these grants and initiatives.