Percentages are cold comfort to Atlantic Canada

February 20, 2013

Halifax- Atlantic Canadians deserve to know how many federal jobs will be cut in their region, their province, and their community. They also deserve to know how these job cuts will affect the delivery of service in their community, as well as how the cuts will affect the broader economy. Unfortunately, the Treasury Board of Canada has yet to release these numbers or this analysis. Instead, today it has chosen to release only the percentage of federal jobs that will still exist in this region by the end of 2015. The percentages are very precise, relaying that Atlantic Canada's share of federal jobs will increase by o.2%. Of course, this only means that the region may see a slightly bigger slice from a smaller pie.

"Atlantic Canadians should take cold comfort from the release of these percentages. They tell us very little about job cuts or their impact, but rather serve to sidestep the real issues. Treasury Board obviously has the actual numbers and they should be released along with the full impact analysis," says Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-NS Director, Christine Saulnier.

According to Treasury Board of Canada, Atlantic Canadians should rest assured that the federal government is treating each province "fairly" and that they are "minimizing the impact of job cuts". The evidence provided to back up these claims is lacking and leaves more questions than answers.

Saulnier is co-author of a report released by the CCPA-NS published late last year, Public Disservice, which made projections for job cuts, but also analyzed the possible impact of these job cuts. Saulnier explains, "Even if you take our most conservative job cut estimate, Atlantic Canada could stand to lose 3690 full time equivalent jobs. And this is on top of the 1057 positions lost to the end of March 2012. Our report raised red flags about the impact of these cuts on our already high unemployment rate. We also raised concerns about the public service itself and the loss of institutional knowledge, as well as community-based and regional knowledge that is vital for making informed public policy decisions. Atlantic Canadians have the right to expect a certain level and quality of public services. How do these cuts respond to their expectations and need for services, which have little to do with what percentage of a shrinking workforce is located here?"


For media interviews, please connect Christine Saulnier, (902) 477-1252 or 240-0926 (cell). The Public Disservice report can be accessed here: