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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"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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