As budget day approaches, the Public Service Alliance of Canada is calling on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to create real change by reinvesting in the federal public service for the immediate economic benefit of all Canadians.
“We urgently need to see a new approach to the economy from this government. The Liberal election platform promised to improve the quality of public services, including reducing wait times and increasing access to in-person services. We will hold them to that,” said Robyn Benson, PSAC National President.
Years of austerity measures and cuts to the federal public service and federal agencies such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Parks Canada and the Canadian Revenue Agency have weakened the economy and demoralized public service workers.
“This new mandate needs to include reversing cuts to the public service, strengthening Employment Insurance, enhancing the Canada Pension Plan, putting in place a national child care system, implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and increasing funds to Indigenous communities.”
The present government has started restoring some public services but many more need to be reinstated. Severe cuts to Employment Insurance program staff have resulted in longer wait times for benefits to be processed and insufficient staff to respond to claimants’ calls.
The announcement of the nine Veterans Affairs offices reopening was a significant victory but details on how this is going to roll out is still lacking.
“Canadians across the country have lost services and government job cuts have hurt economies big and small,” said Benson. “Now is the time to strengthen public services and adequately staff departments so that our members can have the resources in place to do their work.”
“We are at a critical juncture. The government needs to lead by example and promote a positive vision for Canada by investing in the future, including the country’s social infrastructure,” concluded Benson.