More than 5,000 federal jobs are at risk of being eliminated, Canadian union leaders are warning. As a result, services will be reduced across the country, they say.
Workers in 13 departments received notices on June 27 saying their jobs were at risk as a result of federal cutbacks, according to the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC).
"This government is misleading Canadians when it says these cuts won't impact services we all rely on," said PSAC national president Robyn Benson, adding the union is being left in the dark about the effects of cutbacks. "The departments are telling us very little about what programs and services are being cut, and they aren't telling the public either.”
The Conservatives provided information on some services being scaled back.
The Addictions Research Centre in P.E.I. will be closed and some of its research activity will be moved to Ottawa with expected savings of $1.6 million.
Service Canada, the government branch that most often deals with Canadians because it processes claims for employment insurance and old age security, is undergoing substantial changes. The administration of grants and contributions will operate out of fewer centres, along with the division dealing with social security claims.
“Canadians expect their hard-earned tax dollars to be used as effectively and efficiently as possible,” said Minister of Human Resources and Development Diane Finley. “We strive to provide sustainable service that Canadians can depend on, while meeting current and future demands.”
More than 1,450 employees at Service Canada were notified Wednesday that they may lose their jobs, according to PSAC, who represents those workers in a component of the union called the Canada Employment and Immigration Union.
“Cuts to Service Canada are especially troubling as it is impossible that frontline services won't be affected with the jobs of so many of its 23,000 employees in question,” PSAC said in a statement.
Since the federal budget was tabled in March, nearly 20,000 union members have been told there is the possibility their job will be cut. Some positions will be eliminated through attrition.
The federal government plans to cut 19,200 positions over the next three years with the goal of saving $5.2 billion.
Employees in the following departments received notices of upcoming layoffs:
- Human Resources and Skills Development Canada — 1,964 PSAC members, adding to the 1,022 members who received notices in April.
- Canada Revenue Agency — 671 PSAC members.
- Department of Justice — 483 PSAC members, adding to 35 members who received notices in April.
- Department of National Defence — 299 PSAC members, adding to the 1,124 who received notices in April.
- Department of Transport — 147 PSAC members, adding to the 213 workers who received notices in April.
- Department of Fisheries and Oceans — 97 PSAC members, adding to the 598 who received notices in April.
- Canada School of Public Service: 72 PSAC members, out of which 35 positions will be eliminated.
- Public Works and Government Services Canada: 60 PSAC members, adding to the 87 who received notices in April. The department says 45 of those positions will be outright eliminated.
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada: 57 PSAC members, adding to the 459 who received notices in April.
- 23 PSAC members at Environment Canada were also informed of potential job loss; nine members at Infrastructure Canada; six at Correctional Services Canada and one member at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
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