What Do Rights Have To Do With It? (May 2002)

What is the point of talking about human rights in relation to cuts to social programs?

This is a moment in Canadian political history when government commitment to social programs is at a low ebb. Frequently, governments defend their decision-making in the area of social programs on the basis of cost saving. Among progressives, one common mode of social policy critique is to demonstrate that the economic goals that government says it is interested in will not, in fact, be served by its legislative agenda. It can be and has been shown that some cuts to social programs do not result in cost saving at all, while others amount to cost shifting to individuals. It can be very powerful. Being able to effectively engage one’s opposition on its own terms can be important in a debate.

What Do Rights Have To Do With It? (May 2002) (PDF)

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