Canadian Association of Professional Employees

Canadian Association of Professional Employees

March 07, 2012 13:00 ET

British Columbia to Lose More Than 11,000 Jobs in the Wake of Planned Federal Budget Cuts

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 7, 2012) - More than 11,000 workers in British Columbia will lose their jobs if the Canadian government follows through on its plan to cut more than $8 billion in spending from its forthcoming budget.

In addition to these job losses, the province's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to shrink by $1 billion, which could slow down the regional economy.

In terms of the number of job losses, the retail trade sector will be the hardest hit, with 970 BC residents losing their jobs. British Columbia will be the province third most severely affected by the proposed budget cuts, after Ontario and Quebec.

According to the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE), the Canadian Input-Output Model developed by Statistics Canada and used by numerous federal departments and agencies projects that the budget cuts announced by the Conservative government will have a strong impact on the private sector. All across Canada, small businesses will bear the brunt of the blow. In British Columbia, the economic model predicts that 1,267 jobs will be lost in the retail and wholesale trade sectors combined and nearly 500 jobs will disappear in the food services sector. Even BC's residential construction sector will be affected, with nearly 300 workers losing their jobs.

After predicting a $10.17-billion reduction in Canada's GDP and no fewer than 116,000 job losses nationwide, CAPE released regionalized data today generated through the use of an economic model developed by Statistics Canada.

"The economic model we are using is tried and tested," said CAPE President Claude Poirier. "We ran the model on the basis of the figures that have been put forward more than a few times by Canada's Minister of Finance, namely a proposed government spending reduction of $8 billion or 10% of the federal budget. This model has predicted some troubled times for the Canadian economy if the government continues to stick to its objective and proceeds with this massive cut in federal spending."

The proposed federal spending cuts will have an impact on economic growth across Canada. Apart from job losses in the retail trade and food services sectors, British Columbia is predicted to lose 500 jobs in the professional sectors, 700 jobs in private health services and 66 jobs in hospitals.

"Since the release of our first analysis on February 21," Mr. Poirier added, "the government has clearly been trying to calm the waters by stating that the forthcoming budget will not be austere so much as it will focus on prudent and balanced spending. But even budget cuts of 5% or $4 billion would lead to the loss of 5,500 jobs in British Columbia. This means that there are waiters and waitresses, cooks, accountants, taxi drivers, architects and cashiers in British Columbia who will be joining the ranks of the unemployed."

CAPE represents approximately 13,000 economists and social science services employees who advise the government on public policy, 1,000 translators, interpreters and terminologists who provide the bilingual face of the government, and 85 analysts and research assistants at the Library of Parliament.

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