Posted: Wednesday, 27 June 2012
OTTAWA – Today, thousands more of the people who make Canada’s public service work will learn their jobs have been affected by the Conservative government’s latest round of budget cuts. Canadians, on the other hand, will have to wait for months, even years to learn how their lives have been affected by these cuts.
"Senior ministers continue to reassure Canadians that this is minor surgery, small cuts to remove the fat and a few superfluous appendages that serve no vital function," says Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti.
“We see food inspectors, environmental scientists, forensic tax auditors and coast guard rescue operations being chopped at the same time we see senior cabinet ministers allowed to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime to keep their limo drivers on stand-by. Is that fair to Canadians who depend on these valuable public services?” he asks.
According to Georgetti, shutting down world-class research facilities, closing entire libraries and shuttering archives, canceling whole programs and removing the support services on which many other still-functioning government operations depend is bound to have more than just a slimming effect.
“Are we going to lose our ability to protect fresh water sources and prevent them from being damaged due to our own economic activities? Are we exposing families to the risk of weakened food safety or greater exposure to pollutants? Will we be able to police and enforce the laws and regulations we pass in future... or will all of this fall on provincial governments, municipalities or individual volunteers to fill in the gaps?” asks Georgetti.
Turning over the information the government already has about the known impacts of its budget cuts on the public service to the Parliamentary Budget Officer would be a welcome show of openness and remove the suspicions that many people have about any hidden agenda, according to Georgetti.
“Canadians deserve to know what they can expect to find when they wake up from this operation and take off the bandages – before they allow the surgeon to cut any deeper. We don’t want to wake up from liposuction to find we’ve lost some fingers and toes,” he says.
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Website: www.canadianlabour.ca. Follow us on Twitter: @CanadianLabour
Contact: Jeff Atkinson, CLC Communications: 613-863-1413 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org