Do you know where your tax dollars went this year? We all know that our taxes go to fix the streets and to provide medical care for Canadian citizens, but many would be absolutely shocked to find that the government just this year alone spent $575 million defending itself against lawsuits alleged against it.
What comprises the price tag? The money was spent on defense and settlements. Being accused of everything from accidents to subjecting Canadian citizens to excessive force, the list goes on and on. Claims of misconduct from indigenous Canadians to correction officers feeling persecuted, the lawsuits literally go from A to Z.
There were also suits brought between private companies and the federal government as well as the government and itself. Many employees feeling abused by their federal employers, filed suit and cashed in big time. All the money being spent on taxes, is it really being spent well? While everyone seems to be taking aim at our government, our government is doing nothing to recover its own losses.
Choosing not to file suit with slip and fall lawyers, against those who swindle, steal, evade taxes and smuggle, the government estimates that more than over $120 million was lost to various crimes that were never addressed. Making matters worse, Canada’s Finance Minister seems to be ducking the questions about budgetary outlooks and expenditures.
The balanced budget promised as far back as 2011 by Harper is nowhere near a realization in Canada. With new forecasts that the government is headed for a one billion dollar shortfall for the years 2015 and 2016, there are many asking why we aren’t addressing all the lawsuits that could lead to ousting ineffectual leaders and those who aren’t playing by the rules.
Making matters worse is that this could be the year when the government is named in a lawsuit that will involve not only the biggest banks in Canada, but the queen of England herself. A lawsuit rooted in alleged illegal practices that go back decades, if the lawsuit is substantiated and the trial begins, it could spell disaster for banks and the government alike.
The biggest problem affecting our nation is the amount of lawsuits being brought to court per year. Being overloaded, the government often settles the cases without going to trial to save on cost and rulings. What that is doing is wasting taxpayer money and leading to more frivolous lawsuits perpetrated against it.
Being sued for everything from NAFTA violations to TTP allegations, it is difficult to keep up with all the lawsuits being filed, not only for the Canadian people but for the lawyers who are defending our government. A system that seems to be bloated and overrun, litigation is coming from everywhere and in excessive numbers.
It isn’t the case that the government doesn’t deserve the lawsuits, it is just that often it takes someone to sue to change practices. It shouldn’t take a billion dollar suit for the government to respond and to address concerns by the citizens of Canada.
Defending itself against discrimination, refugee systematic bias claims and in some cases human rights violations, what happened to grass root changes made by common sense and fairness? Until the government can stop waiting for legal action for them to respond, our court system is going to be overloaded, and our tax dollars are going to be wasted defending our government.
Maybe this fiscal year we should focus on two objectives. One should be truth in government and government practices. The second should be to persecute those that don’t follow the rules. The means those who are in the administration and those who cheat the government.
It is the same loss for the Canadian economy just perpetuated in a different way. Perhaps our resources would be better spent trying to create an atmosphere that is guided by fairness instead of continuing to sue to find it.
Until then, whether Harper’s assertion that we are on track to balance the budget for 2015-2016 is true, will remain to be seen. From where most of us are sitting and the numbers that are being estimated, many of us are losing faith. If we could just get our own house in order, literally, so much money wasted on things like lawsuits could be curbed and put back into the system where it is much needed.