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Uffish Thoughts: The Feds Ponder the Cost of SIN July 5, 2012

Posted by klondykewriter in Uffish Thoughts.
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Uffish Thoughts: The Feds Ponder the Cost of SIN
By Dan Davidson
May 16, 2012, Star, May 18/12
– 573 words –

My SIN card is wearing out. I’m not sure why, because it has been years since I’ve bothered to carry it around and I hardly ever need to refer to it. The last time I needed it for anything was when I applied for a passport, and then I had to mail it off with a whole bunch of other nearly irreplaceable ID documents in order get one.
I’ve been nervous about letting go of my copies of original documents ever since the territory’s Dept of Education contacted me some 30 years ago to tell me that my file, with all my high school and university transcripts, had somehow gone missing. Would I send them my copies of these so they could rebuild my file?
I thought it over for a few seconds and decided that was a bad idea. If they lost them again I would be up the creek. Instead I got notarized copies of my own files made and sent them those. That way I could do it again if there was ever a need.
But I digress.
I’m not saying the passport office damaged the card while they had it, but it developed a crack not long after that, and I now have it splinted together with a strip of scotch tape to keep the crack from going all the way through and the card from falling apart.
I’ve been thinking about ordering a replacement for it, but that may be neither necessary nor possible in a little over a year. The latest news from the national capital is that the plastic SIN card will soon be joining the penny in the dustbin of history.
It’s just the card that’s going to be vanishing in 2014. You’ll still be issued a number and you’ll be notified by mail as to what it is. Since you need a SIN to access a whole panoply of government services at all levels, not to mention paying your income tax and other fun things, you’ll still have one.
Apparently eliminating the actual plastic card will save the government the magnificent sum of $1.5 million annually, which hardly seems worth the effort to make the decision in the first place, especially considering the light-hearted abandon with which the government ignored billions in the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II estimates.
I suppose this will help to pay for the creative thinkers who have to keep coming up with new excuses every time a federal minister needs to explain why the Parliamentary Budget Officer or the Auditor General is wrong about the errors in the latest government spending estimates.
Or maybe it will help to pay for the upkeep on the 32 legacy projects that got built in Minister Tony Clements’s riding during the G-20 Summit in Toronto. Huntsville, the site of some of these projects, is some 220 km from Toronto, but it was always possible that some of the delegates might have wanted to take a two and a half hour drive north of the summit city to look at the new gazebo, or the new Olympic-size hockey arena and aquatics centre.
I don’t know though. With all this fuss about SIN cards it just seems to me that perhaps, to use a phrase that will soon be meaningless in this country, the government is penny wise and pound-foolish.




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