PSAC BC calls on the government to restore public services in tomorrow's federal budget

VANCOUVER, March 21, 2016 /CNW/ - The Public Service Alliance of Canada BC Region is calling on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to create real change by reinvesting in the federal public service for the immediate benefit of British Columbians.

"We urgently need to see a new approach from this government. The Liberal election platform promised to improve the quality of public services, including reducing wait times and increasing access to in-person services. We will hold them to that," said Bob Jackson, PSAC Regional Executive Vice President for BC.

Years of austerity measures and cuts to the federal public service and federal agencies such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Parks Canada and the Canadian Revenue Agency have weakened the economy and demoralized public service workers.

"This new mandate needs to include reversing the cuts to the public service that have affected British Columbians, and in particular must include firm dates and concrete plans around the re-opening of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station and the Veterans Affairs offices in Kelowna and Prince George".

The present government has started restoring some public services but many more need to be reinstated. Over 1,700 positions in 28 different federal government departments and agencies in British Columbia have been cut since 2012.

"Communities across the province have lost services and government job cuts have hurt the economy," said Jackson. "Now is the time to strengthen public services and adequately staff departments so that federal government workers can have the resources in place to do their work."

"We are at a critical juncture. The government needs to lead by example and promote a positive vision for Canada by investing in the future, including the country's social infrastructure," Jackson concludes.

Following the federal budget speech tomorrow, Bob Jackson will be available to provide further comment.

For further information:

Patrick Bragg, PSAC Communications, cell: (778) 889-3486

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