Roundup: Growing bureaucracy, unfunded multiculturalism

For all of his cost cutting, the public service has seen a rather rapid growth under Stephen Harper’s watch. Some of the biggest increases between 2006 and 2012 came in places like CBSA, the civilian staff at the RCMP and Correctional Services of Canada, but there were also increases in places like the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, if you can believe it. Mind you, I’m sure a lot of this growth has been in comms staff and “information technology,” but it still paints a picture.

What is going unspent are millions of dollars every year for multiculturalism programming. The demand for the programming funds is still high, but the government hasn’t bothered to disperse nearly 40 percent of the funding since 2007. The department’s excuse – that their applications weren’t up to snuff.

The Access to Information regime turns 30 years old, and is in need of some modernisation, including demands that the law covers Parliament.

What’s that? E-consultations on the federal budget have proven to be a disingenuous flop? You don’t say!

ePassports are now available in Canada, in the hopes that they will be more difficult to forge.

The Hill Times rounds up some cabinet shuffle rumours.

Here’s an interview with Senator Gerald Comeau, who’s taking charge of the Internal Economy committee that will be dealing with the expenses issues.

Justin Trudeau recorded a Pride message. He also marched in the Toronto Pride parade with out lesbian Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne. Thomas Mulcair was also in the parade on a float.

Andrew Leach explains where the “Bitumen bubble” that impact on Alberta’s oil prices came from, though he doesn’t excuse the province for grossly overestimating the price forecasts in their budgeting.

Former Canadian diplomat Gary Beddell recalls the months he spent working with Nelson Mandela.

And here are your Canada Day greetings from the three major federal party leaders.