Federal budget falls short on reinvestments in public services

Budget 2017

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) welcomes the modest investments in public services announced in this year’s budget, but we are disappointed that it did not go far enough to restore the services Canadians rely on.

“This budget was an opportunity to improve front-line public service delivery. While it is encouraging to see investments in food safety and transportation infrastructure, the Liberals missed the opportunity to substantially restore and improve public services,” said Robyn Benson, PSAC National President. “PSAC is disappointed that the government ignored our demand to include a contingency fund to address problems with the Phoenix pay system.”

Quality public services

Federal public service workers see first-hand the impact that years of cuts have had on the quality of Canada’s public services. The second Liberal budget was an opportunity to restore what was cut so that our members can deliver the high-quality public services that Canadians deserve.

Instead of significant reinvestment in public services, like creating more permanent employment opportunities, we are concerned about the possibility of the government pursuing privatization and P3 initiatives. Privatization and P3s are often more expensive than public ownership and not in the public interest. Furthermore, public funds should not be used for private profits.

Phoenix pay system

On the first anniversary of Phoenix, we asked the government to include a $75 million contingency fund in the federal budget. If departments and agencies don’t have the proper resources to deal with Phoenix, pay problems will never be resolved. 

By not including the contingency fund, the government is going to prolong and worsen the problems with the pay system. It also sends the message that fixing Phoenix is not a priority for this government. This is unacceptable; public service workers deserve to be paid correctly and on-time.



March 22, 2017