Budget 2023: Strong public services are key to helping Canadians hit hard by rising costs  

PSAC expects the federal government to invest in strong public services in its 2023 budget to build an economy that puts working people first and prevents Canadians from falling further behind. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, federal public service workers stepped up for us when we needed them most. 

Federal public service workers kept our country going, implementing unprecedented programs to support Canadians, processed millions of applications for pandemic assistance and rolled out multiple support measures for businesses and families.  

Research by the IRIS institute shows that every dollar invested in the public service brings in between $1.09 and $1.28 to Canada’s economy, giving both workers and communities a lift.  

As the cost-of-living soars, Canadians need a strong social safety net and secure, stable public services more than ever. 

PSAC expects to see measures in Budget 2023 that:   

  • Strengthen the public services Canadians rely on and support the workers that provide them

    The budget should make it clear the federal government is prepared to come to the bargaining table to negotiate a fair contract that does not leave federal government workers further behind. This will ensure the public service has the staff and talent Canada needs moving forward. 

    When governments contract out public sector work to private companies, profits take priority over services, and Canadians ends up paying the price while corporations line their pockets. Measures in the budget should reverse the problems caused by privatization and contracting out. This can be done by ending the use of temporary help agencies and implementing an ongoing policy and practice of contracting work back into the public service.  
  • Repair the damage caused by the Phoenix fiasco 

    Budget 2023 should invest in hiring more compensation advisors, providing ongoing damages compensation to workers, and prioritize building a pay system that pays workers accurately and on time, every time. As Canada’s largest employer, the federal government should be leading by example by making things right for workers affected by the pay disaster. 
  • Address systemic racism and discrimination in federal workplaces and resolve longstanding inequities 

    The budget should commit funding to ensure that all the recommendations of the Deschamps and Arbour reviews into sexual harassment and workplace toxicity in the Department of National Defence are implemented. Thousands of military and civilian members have been harmed over decades of abuse and harassment.

    The government should also make a real and lasting commitment to Reconciliation by providing the necessary funding to fully implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, fully fund the implementation of the 231 recommendations from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, ensure the funding and infrastructure necessary to end the water crisis in First Nations and Indigenous Communities, and end food insecurity in the north by investing in Indigenous, community-lead solutions.  

Read PSAC’s full list of recommendations for the next federal budget. 


March 13, 2023