Canada: Federal spending cuts will cost more than 60,000 jobs
Published on Fri, 2012-01-27 07:20
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, one of the focal points of Social Watch in that country). Any additional cuts in the upcoming federal budget would result in even more job losses.
The report, entitled “The Cuts Behind the Curtain: How federal cutbacks will slash services and increase unemployment”, identifies areas that are already seeing cuts and may see more of the same, including programs for Aboriginal on-reserve housing, training and primary health care; support for low-income families, seniors, and the unemployed; environmental programs; workplace and food safety inspectors; and Canada's international profile.
The study also raises concerns about the government's lack of transparency about what will be axed, and why.
This report, led 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. Royal Canadian Mounted Police and military personnel are unlikely to see further cuts. The National Security Establishment encompassing Correctional Services, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, 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 the Federal cutbacks. 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.