Lack of Accountability and Absence of Details Remain Key Federal Budget Failings, Says PIPSC

Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:13pm EDT

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Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

March 21, 2013 - 10:13:05 PM

Lack of Accountability and Absence of Details Remain Key Federal Budget
Failings, Says PIPSC

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 21, 2013) - "Like Budget 2012, which
undid decades of public programs and provided next to no details the night of
its release, Budget 2013 adds to the federal government's poor record on
accountability," says Gary Corbett, President of the Professional Institute of
the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), the largest union in Canada representing
scientists and professionals employed by the federal government. 

"While we appreciate the government's willingness to consult on human resource
issues, the Budget provides no details or timetable for discussions," added
Corbett. "Consultation and negotiation to defend our members' interests and
their ability to provide important professional services to Canadians is what
we do. Unfortunately, this government is underplaying the scale of the changes
to the public service it appears to be contemplating and the impact this will
have on all Canadians."

This year's budget puts additional cuts on top of the deep program and
spending cuts implemented under the so-called omni-budget of 2012. Budget 2013
also continues to deny Canadians information about the effects these cuts will
have on frontline services and on the health of Canada's people, the
environment, and the economy.

"New cuts to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canada Revenue
Agency come with few details," Corbett said. "We've been told that frontline
services are safe, but I am concerned that we've heard that before. Last
year's 'back office' cuts at DFO led to the closing of the Experimental Lakes
Area - a world-renowned scientific program. This year we have no way of
knowing if other programs as exceptional as the ELA will be shut down." 

"This budget does not address the issue of accountability," concluded Corbett.
"The sidelining of Kevin Page and likely 'declawing' of the Parliamentary
Budget Office should be seen as part of the ongoing depreciation of
accountability elsewhere in government - whether it's Statistics Canada's
ability to collect meaningful, non-partisan data for public policy or
Environment Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency efforts to ensure
adequate environmental stewardship and food safety. This is the critical role
of public service professionals." 

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada represents some
60,000 professionals and scientists across Canada's public sector.

Johanne Fillion
(613) 228-6310 extension 2303
(613) 883-4900 (cell)

Pierre Villon
(613) 228-6310 extension 2228
(613) 794-9369 (cell)
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