Federal spending cuts will cost more than 60,000 jobs: study

January 23, 2012

OTTAWA—Federal cutbacks announced in the 2010 and 2011 budgets will result in more than 60,000 job losses, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). Any additional cuts in the upcoming federal budget would result in even more job losses.

The study, by CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald, creates three scenarios to explore the impact of the next two waves of cuts and finds between 60,100 and 68,300 jobs will be lost somewhere in Canada. The National Capital Region may lose over 22,000 jobs and Atlantic Canada may suffer 5,400 jobs losses, significantly raising unemployment in those areas.

“No matter how the cuts take shape, the job losses will be significant. They will be biggest if cuts are focused exclusively on the federal public service,” says Macdonald. “But if the cuts are spread more broadly, it will mean there will also be job losses at non-profit agencies, Crown corporations, and private sector firms who do business with the government.”

The study identifies key areas that are already seeing cuts from previous waves and may see more of the same: programs for Aboriginal on-reserve housing, training and primary health care; support for low income family, seniors and the unemployed; environmental programs; workplace and food safety inspectors; and Canada’s international profile.

Previous cutbacks have left other areas largely protected. RCMP and military personnel are unlikely to see further cuts. The National Security Establishment encompassing Correctional Services, CSIS, Border Security and Public Safety may well also escape major cutbacks as the study shows they have in the past.

The study also raises serious concerns about the government’s purposeful and strategic lack of transparency about what will be axed, and why. Without government disclosure on where and how the cuts are being made, it is essentially impossible for Canadians to determine whether these cuts are appropriate.

“It remains an open question as to whether Canadians, if given the choice, would cut Aboriginal health care, housing, and government safety inspectors to pay for more prisons and border security. Canadians need to know exactly what they stand to lose,” Macdonald concludes.


The Cuts Behind the Curtain: How federal cutbacks will slash services and increase unemployment is available on the CCPA website: http://www.policyalternatives.ca

For more information contact Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Senior Communications Officer, at 613-563-1341 x306.