Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

November 19, 2008 20:09 ET

PIPSC/Speech from the Throne: Endangering Canada's Future

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 19, 2008) - Canada's future is only as strong as that of its workers, and public service employees are a key segment of Canada's labour force. Although the Prime Minister says he wants to stimulate the economy, he is putting the health and welfare of Canadians at risk by reining in public sector spending.

Public service employees are vital to Canadians' well-being. These employees are the men and women who protect us. They look after safe nuclear energy production and ensure the foods we eat, the toys our children play with and the medicines we take are safe. They safeguard data systems, monitor tax systems, and perform world-class research on climate change and other emerging issues. Public service employees are dedicated professionals who are also Canadians with elderly parents and small children and are consumers and taxpayers. Ensuring their jobs are safe and their wages are fair will not only stimulate the economy, it will also safeguard Canadians and their families.

In order to combat the economic slowdown, the federal government should use public-sector investment to stimulate economic activity, raise commercial-sector productivity and innovation, and speed the transition to environmentally-sustainable growth and development.

Stepping on the gas pedal to stimulate economic activity while at the same time stomping on the brake to cut program spending and public-service salaries only jeopardizes the success of the government's stimulus efforts. Now is not the time to transfer public sector services to low-wage, low-quality private sector 'partners'. Using the economic slowdown as an excuse, however, the government is advancing its ideological crusade for smaller government, increased privatization, and unfettered deregulation, and continuing its attack on public-service workers.

Canada is in a strong fiscal position and has a stable economy. If the Prime Minister legislates low wages for hundreds of thousands of public service employees, it will slow the economic recovery. The government needs to be reminded that in 2006 the Supreme Court of Canada recognized the constitutional right to collective bargaining. The Institute is willing to continue the dialogue but only when the threat of wage control is dropped and a true commitment to the renewal of the public service is demonstrated. The Government should not be bargaining in the media or through the Speech from the Throne. The Institute has been and will continue to bargain in good faith for its 40,000 federal public service members.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada represents 55,000 professionals and scientists.

Contact Information

  • Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
    Chantal Lecours
    613-228-6310, extension 2229 or 613-864-4368 (cell)