Budget 2022 makes progress, but falls short on Phoenix, public services

PSAC welcomes the government’s investments in making life more affordable for Canadian workers and their families. The 2022 budget makes firm commitments to investment in dental care, housing and affordable child care infrastructure which PSAC has long been fighting for. 

However, it fails to deliver on creating a strong and resilient federal public service that Canadians can depend on when they need it most. 

The government has buried more than $9 billion in potential cuts as part of a concerning “Strategic Policy Review” that plans to save costs by examining the effectiveness of government programs and operations. This could have a real impact on the public services Canadians rely on, and could ultimately lead to public service job cuts. 

“The government is trying to frame this review as a way to find savings in the wake of the pandemic,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president. “But we have serious concerns, and will be keeping a close eye on the implementation to make sure that public service workers aren’t paying the price of these so-called savings, through job cuts and austerity.” 

 This budget also highlights the Trudeau government’s increasing reliance on privatization and contracting out of good, secure federal public service jobs, which directly impacts PSAC members. The government is investing another $500 million in the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), which leads to the privatization of vital public infrastructure, higher costs, more risk and reduced quality of services to Canadians. 

The budget also completely ignores the ongoing impact of the Phoenix pay disaster, with no new funding to fix the broken pay system. 

“This is an insult to tens of thousands of federal public service workers who are still experiencing pay problems more than six years later,” said Aylward. 

PSAC will continue to press the government to hire more compensation advisors to solve existing pay problems and eliminate the growing backlog of cases. PSAC is also calling on the federal government to launch a national public inquiry into the Phoenix fiasco. 


April 7, 2022