OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 03/21/13 -- "Like Budget 2012, which undid decades of public programs and provided next to no details the night of its release, Budget 2013 adds to the federal government's poor record on accountability," says Gary Corbett, President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), the largest union in Canada representing scientists and professionals employed by the federal government.
"While we appreciate the government's willingness to consult on human resource issues, the Budget provides no details or timetable for discussions," added Corbett. "Consultation and negotiation to defend our members' interests and their ability to provide important professional services to Canadians is what we do. Unfortunately, this government is underplaying the scale of the changes to the public service it appears to be contemplating and the impact this will have on all Canadians."
This year's budget puts additional cuts on top of the deep program and spending cuts implemented under the so-called omni-budget of 2012. Budget 2013 also continues to deny Canadians information about the effects these cuts will have on frontline services and on the health of Canada's people, the environment, and the economy.
"New cuts to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canada Revenue Agency come with few details," Corbett said. "We've been told that frontline services are safe, but I am concerned that we've heard that before. Last year's 'back office' cuts at DFO led to the closing of the Experimental Lakes Area - a world-renowned scientific program. This year we have no way of knowing if other programs as exceptional as the ELA will be shut down."
"This budget does not address the issue of accountability," concluded Corbett. "The sidelining of Kevin Page and likely 'declawing' of the Parliamentary Budget Office should be seen as part of the ongoing depreciation of accountability elsewhere in government - whether it's Statistics Canada's ability to collect meaningful, non-partisan data for public policy or Environment Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency efforts to ensure adequate environmental stewardship and food safety. This is the critical role of public service professionals."
The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada represents some 60,000 professionals and scientists across Canada's public sector.
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