Bureaucrats’ $10,000 trips ‘too expensive’: NDP
The National post story on senior bureaucrats taking fact finding trips to other countries is somewhat disturbing, especially when it’s been revealed senior government mandarins are being treated to an all expense taxpayer funded sojourn to the far reaches of the globe to study the work habits of their counterparts.
In the word of one critic, a national taxpayers’ advocacy group director Stephen Taylor with the National Citizens Coalition stated:
“I don’t know why a Canadian bureaucrat needs to go to Mexico to find out how they do administration,” he said.
“In 2009, the program had several participants visiting 35 countries, including India, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, according to Mr. Taylor’s post.”
The Canada School of Public Service running the program provides Advanced Leadership Programs for senior mandarins. This program, touted to provide insight for government mandarins will allow them to witness and learn from their counterparts, and see their hosts world with a different set of eyes. This information, once disseminated, is used to develop the senior mandarin’s knowledge of other government processes around the world.
Though in rare instances there may be validity in sending a few senior mandarins to other areas of the world to get a better understanding , but would not the host country be on their best behaviour? Besides bureaucrats being bureaucrats will only let you see what they want you to see, thus giving a false impression? One only has to read a newspaper to see the folly in all this.
What positive outcome would a Canadian civil servant learn from anyone working for the Mexican, Saudi or Indian government or any foreign government for that matter?
Would not all this information be readily available in an instant with our Foreign Affairs department, media or the 200,000 thousand refugees and immigrants who flee to Canada annually? Certainly these sources of information would be more accurate than any foreign bureaucrat under the gun to please.
Notwithstanding it is well documented that the economic market conditions in these countries economies is certainly well known looking at their stock market, civil unrest and other determining factors, European countries included!
Since these economies and civil unrest and lack of democratic process in many of these countries are pretty much in the toilet, what benefit would it serve us to learn anything positive from these countries?
While Canada may not be a perfect utopia according to some Canadians, we are free to whine and criticize openly to our governments, after all we vote governments in and out of power, and speak our mind as a free nation, that is our right!
Perhaps Canadians all, should appreciate what we have, our rights and freedoms, lifestyle choices and equality that everyone is equal, as the majority of citizens in other countries are fighting and dying for what we currently take for granted. Canadians always seem unsatisfied for one reason or another, with our endless requests for more and more self entitlements. Entitlements we are unwilling to pay for, preferring the next Canadian front those costs on their behalf, including your government.
While the aforementioned statement is valid, should not other countries see how good we have it, though many of us take for granted?
After all it is said the Advanced Leadership Program prepares senior mandarins to effectively lead the public service into the future, one wonders why the Canadian master needs lessons from the ill prepared foreign students?
Would it not make sense for these countries to send their government mandarins to Canada, after all Canada is in a lot better financial shape economically, thanks in part to Prime Minister Harper and the Conservative Government, who should seriously rethink this current Leadership Program policy.