Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

August 10, 2007 13:28 ET

PIPSC: The Transport Development Centre is Quietly Leaving Montreal for the National Capital Region

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 10, 2007) - Right in the middle of summer, Prime Minster Harper's Conservative government announced the relocation of Transport Canada's Transportation Development Centre (TDC) from Montreal to the National Capital Region. The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada is concerned with the significant personal and financial repercussions of this decision on its members employed at the Centre.

"It is unacceptable that we are already facing a fait accompli," says Michele Demers, President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada. "There has been no union-management consultation whatsoever, despite the fact that we requested such consultation with the three other unions involved after we learned of the possible move in February. Furthermore, the department's announcement of the transfer is being made during the summer holidays and therefore at a time when fewer people are available to react to such news. I urged Kristine Burr, Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy at Transport Canada, to delay this announcement to allow time to open a dialogue with the Institute on the ramifications of this decision. But to no avail."

The Institute maintains that a decision of this nature merits being reviewed with the affected stakeholders and not simply made unilaterally. No consultations or meetings at all were held with the ten engineers and families who will be impacted by this decision. The affected employees will certainly be able to make use of the Work Force Adjustment Policy, but they will have to choose between staying in Montreal, losing or changing their jobs or moving to the National Capital Region.

The Transportation Development Centre is responsible for conducting research and development on air, marine, road and rail transportation modes, and Montreal is an ideal location because several major transportation organizations are established there (CN, ICAO, IATA, Via Rail, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Bell Helicopter, FEDNAV, Oceanex, and marine enterprises around the Port of Montreal, etc.). However, Transport Canada claims that its client departments are located in Ottawa and that it is with these organizations that it wishes to further its research and development partnerships.

Added President Demers, "This move jeopardizes research and development in the field of transportation. Some of these professionals may choose not to relocate and their expertise acquired over many years and in some cases, in highly specialized fields, will be lost. For the federal government, this is a loss of knowledge that is difficult to measure."

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada represents 52,000 professional and scientific employees across Canada.

Contact Information

    Media Enquries: Chantal Lecours
    613-228-6310, ext. 2229
    613-864-4368 (cell)