More than 150,000 public servants working in Ottawa awoke May 3rd to a new Conservative majority government, and new anxieties about what that will mean for their jobs. The prospect of layoffs in the federal bureaucracy is a hot topic in Ottawa.
As Conservatives prepare to recall Parliament, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is setting the stage for a clampdown on federal government spending under the newly elected government, that would include cutting the public service by 80,000 — or one-third.
The people who suffer in this scenario are those most dependent on government services such as immigrants, the unemployed, pensioners and military veterans.
The Tory budget that was tabled in March called for a review of spending at all government departments and $11 billion in cuts over the next four years. The budget was never passed.
However, now that the Conservatives have a majority government, the Tories have the ability to push that same budget through.
William Robson, president of the think-tank C.D. Howe Institute, says the government could make some progress on the deficit in the short-term if the economic continues to recover. Robson predicted the Conservative’s corporate tax cuts would lead to an expansion of the business sector.
Even before the latest round of corporate tax cuts, Canada’s oil, gas and natural resource exports nearly had doubled in value in recent years, and now more than 25 per cent of Canada’s economy is directly or indirectly tied to the mining and oil and gas industries, even more so in Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador, where oil and gas account for nearly 40 per cent of provincial GDP.
John Gordon, president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, says he’s concerned by the government’s talk to cut down the public sector.
“Stephen Harper has always talked about smaller government,” Mr. Gordon said. “If people leave through attrition, that means less people to do the work. And if there’s less people to do the work, then something has to give.”
So Public Services are going to be cut while private corporations are getting billions of dollars in tax benefits ? This means less government services in our lives and more money for the rich and powerful. Truly not what the average Canadian wants.
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