Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The coming public service job losses

There's a new study out by the CCPA on federal public service job cuts. The study suggests between 11,000 to 22,000 jobs could be lost in the Ottawa area and between 60,000 to 70,000 jobs across the country. This would be done in the next few years and up to 2015. David Pugliese reviews a colleague's report on the study and notes this point: "Canadian Forces and RCMP Rank-and-File Spared the Job Losses That Will Affect Thousands of Government Workers, New Study Notes." Additionally, Correctional Service Canada is unscathed and is going to be adding jobs. Clearly, it looks like the government is picking and choosing winners and losers with these cuts, based on their political priorities. That suggests that the cuts are not all about austerity and budgeting.

There is a bigger picture to consider as well. Conservatives philosophically distrust government. They don't believe in government the way that progressives do. It's not that far fetched with this government to speculate that these cuts are likely part of a dismantling agenda, making it that much harder for a future non-Conservative government to have an effective public service in place in order to help achieve progressive goals.

The cuts will no doubt be carefully messaged and massaged as sensible cutbacks following strategic operating reviews. But the alternative view should be considered as well.