The Conservative Party isn’t on your side

The last time the Conservative party was in power, Canadians everywhere paid the price – especially those who deliver public services. If elected in October, Andrew Scheer is going to pick up where Stephen Harper left off. Here’s a list of reasons why we can’t let that happen. 

When they last formed government, the Conservative party:   

  • Cut jobs and laid off employees 

  • Cut 26,000 jobs in the public service in less than four years and, if they had been re-elected in 2015, expected to cut 9,000 more, directly hurting front-line public services for Canadians.  

  • Statistics Canada estimates 50,000 jobs were cut in the broader federal public administration between 2011 and 2015 alone. 

  • Cut important public services 

  • Put Canadians at risk by cutting hundreds of food inspection positions  

  • Made accessing employment insurance more difficult through staff cutbacks, including getting through to the EI helpline  

  • Ended Canada Post’s door-to-door delivery for thousands of Canadians in order to eliminate jobs while the Corporation continued to show a profit 

  • Downgraded publicly-funded research that focused on public goals, and muzzled government scientists 

  • Disregarded public safety concerns with cuts to the coast guard and the closure of marine communication centres on the east and west coasts 

  • Closed nine Veterans Affairs offices, leaving many veterans out in the cold 

  • Started the Phoenix mess 

  • After getting rid of hundreds of compensation advisors, introduced the Phoenix pay system after a similar system used for government workers in Australia had been shown to fail 

  • Ignored warnings from IBM in 2015 that the Phoenix system needed more testing   

  • Attacked collective bargaining rights 

  • Passed a law giving the government the power to unilaterally remove sick leave provisions and impose different short and long-term sick leave plans. 

  • Used an omnibus budget bill to roll back negotiated wage increases for many PSAC members and to put limits on the rates of pay that could be negotiated in the federal public service 

  • Took away important rights to a fair collective bargaining process by limiting the democratic right to strike and allowing the government to decide unilaterally what workers were “essential”   

  • Put federal employees at risk at work  

  • Made federal workplaces more dangerous for workers by changing the definition of “danger” under the Canada Labour Code to only include “imminent” risks. 

  • Reduced the number of federal health and safety inspectors, making it difficult for workers to refuse dangerous work and making workplaces less safe. 

  • Failed to address the climate crisis and protect our environment 

  • Gutted Canada’s environmental regulations making it easier for large corporations to pollute 

  • Adopted climate change targets that were far too low to stop catastrophic climate change – and didn’t try to meet even those inadequate targets 

  • Cut millions from the government’s ocean monitoring and water protection activities 

  • Repealed key sections of the Fisheries Act, endangering habitats, weakened the Environmental Assessment Act, and reduced environmental oversight in the Species at Risk Act  

  • Eliminated pay equity  

  • Denied women in the federal public service the right to take pay equity complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and enacted $50,000 fines on unions that tried to help with these complaints 

  • Attacked unions 

  • Made it harder for all federal workers to exercise their right to join a union and remain unionized by changing the certification process and making it easier to decertify  

  • Singled out unions for discriminatory treatment by passing a law that would force them to provide excessively detailed and intrusive reports to the Canada Revenue Agency that would invade union members’ privacy, 

  • Rolled back all progress on child care 

  • Abolished federal-provincial-territorial funding agreements on child care, replacing $1 billion in funding with small monthly payments to parents that represented only a fraction of actual child care costs and would build no new spaces.  

  • Undermined retirement security 

  • Started the process to introduce target benefit pension plans that would encourage employers to switch from plans that provide predictable benefits to much riskier options for employees.  

  • Increased the age of eligibility for Old Age Security from 65 to 67 affecting the next generation of retiring Canadians. 

  • Ignored the growing provincial consensus to expand Canada Pension Plan benefits 

  • Showed their disdain for Indigenous peoples 

  • Cut all funding to the National Aboriginal Health Organization and made cuts to Sisters in Spirit, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Association 

  • Ignored calls for an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls 

  • Ignored the needs of First Nations reserves to have safe drinking water 

  • Increased food insecurity in the north by replacing the Food Mail Program operated by Canada Post with Nutrition North, which resulted in higher food costs  

We don’t want to relive the Harper years – say no to Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives. 

September 7, 2019