Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

November 19, 2008 06:00 ET

PIPSC: N.B. Premier Leaves "At Risk" Citizens Vulnerable in Province's "Road to Self-Sufficiency"

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 19, 2008) - The union representing the province's Home Economists is outraged that the provincial government has eliminated all the regional home economist positions in New Brunswick.

Home Economists are often the first line of defence for helping "at risk" families in home, money and resource management, food and nutrition, and family relationships. Home Economists perform important work in aiding these families to become self sufficient and preventing future abuse.

"It is ironic that Premier Shawn Graham has recently announced plans for the province to become self-sufficient and reduce poverty, when, in eliminating his province's Home Economists, he is removing yet another tool which "at risk" families have to combat poverty," commented Michele Demers, President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, the union which represents the Home Economists.

"Obviously when the Premier stated that overcoming poverty would take involvement from all New Brunswickers, he did not mean the province's Home Economists, who have just lost their jobs," added Michele Demers.

A government spokesperson stated that the layoffs are meant to create more consistency throughout the province.

Questioned Michele Demers, "Does the government want to create a consistency of poverty throughout the province? These job cuts are attacks on the most vulnerable members of society. Many needy people will be left out in the cold. The government seems to have its priorities mixed up."

"The solution to improving the consistency in the way these services are delivered is to hire more Home Economists to provide consistent service around the province, rather than to eliminate all these employees. What deplorable standard of consistent service is the Premier aiming for?"

"This flagrant lack of vision is evidence that the current New Brunswick government fails to recognize the uniquely important roles of government to protect the health, safety and security of the public. Service delivery is key, and if New Brunswickers do not receive essential services, then this government will have failed its citizens."

The recent market failures have exposed fundamental flaws in a government philosophy of relying on the private sector to deliver services which should be delivered by the government. The province of New Brunswick has a history of failed private-public partnerships, as indicated in its own Provincial Auditors' reports.

Citizens must fight to protect public services from being sold by cash-strapped governments. "The New Brunswick government has acted totally inhumanely", added Michele Demers. "The government must reverse its decision and keep the Home Economists in place to protect the most vulnerable members of society."

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada is the largest multi-professional union in Canada. In New Brunswick, the Professional Institute represents agrologists, veterinarians, engineers and home economists.

Contact Information

  • Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
    Laureen Allan
    1-800-267-0446, ext. 2230
    Cell: 613-864-6700