The federal government left almost half of a fund for victims of crime untouched last year, because it did not have enough staff to disburse the money, or so they claim. According to a National Post report, the Justice Department revealed it had planned to spend $8.8-million for the Victims of Crime Initiative in 2009-10, but only spent $4.9-million. The tough-on-crime Conservatives are apparently tough on the victims of crime.
What sort of justice is that?
Again from the National Post, I read with raised eyebrows that the B.C. government spent more than $102.8-million on investigating and prosecuting serial killer Robert Pickton. And that alarming figure does not include the federal share of the RCMP services—about $30-million. The Post also notes that taxpayers have to date paid $737,000 to keep Pickton in jail.
Hmm, we can routinely find $130-million to convict and house a serial killer, but we can’t find the resources to fully disburse the 2009-10 allotment set aside for support of victims of crime. Now, one might quibble that there are two levels of government involved here. But I say, who cares? Perhaps the federal government could have bummed the money off the B.C. government. Or, if Ottawa can’t do a simply administration function such as this, then pass it off to the provinces—along with the allotted money, of course.
In a federal civil service of 263,000 staff (2008 number), one would think Ottawa could have found someone to write a few cheques. But I suppose they’d first have had to hold an inquiry, then set up a special committee with appropriate legal and support staff, hired consultants to tell the committee what to do and held public hearings to hear from the more than 5000 registered lobbyists in Ottawa. Heck, there goes another $1-billion.