In the Fall 2016 Auditor General’s report, Canada’s spending watchdog Michael Ferguson sends a strong message to the federal government: better long-term funding is urgently needed to improve public services and ensure they are built around citizens, not processes.
Examples of this were provided in areas such as vehicle safety, border security, income tax services and First Nations specific claims.
“The Auditor General is confirming what the PSAC has already been saying: a decade of Harper Conservative cuts has adversely affected the ability of our members to deliver quality public services,” said Robyn Benson, PSAC National President. "Public service workers want to do their jobs well and assist all Canadians. But their ability to do so will continue to suffer unless the proper resources are provided.”
Lack of stable funding impacts services
The Auditor General pointed to areas where the lack of stable funding has impacted crucial programs and services:
- Cuts to frontline service delivery at the Canada Revenue Agency have resulted in long wait times at a moment when Canadians want information on their tax assessments.
- Deficient funding at Transport Canada has made it difficult for public service workers to meet their mandate in terms of car safety.
"This AG report provides the Liberal government with an opportunity to reinvest and build better public services,” added Benson. “Public service workers have the expertise to achieve this goal, and the government needs to rely on this expertise and work with its employees to strengthen Canada’s public services."
Last year, Prime Minister Trudeau wrote to all public service workers promising to treat them with respect and restore the cuts made by Stephen Harper.