Budget 2024: Promising investments in affordability, but public service cuts concerning

As Canadians grapple with an affordability crisis, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) welcomes strong support for those most impacted – especially young workers – with major investments in housing, post-secondary education, and a National Food Plan for students.

“We’re pleased to see measures in the budget that will support the important work of more than 34,000 PSAC members working in the post-secondary sector,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president. “But as Canadians continue to struggle to make ends meet, we need to put workers and their families first by supporting strong, stable public services when they need them most.”

However, PSAC is concerned about the plan to cut 5,000 federal public service jobs through attrition. When the $15 billion in spending cuts were announced last year, Treasury Board President Anita Anand promised Canadians public service workers wouldn’t be asked to do more with less and that there would be no job losses.

“The public service is only now recovering from the deep cuts of the Harper era, and as our population grows, we need to continue investing in public services to meet the growing needs of Canadians,” said Aylward. “Investing in public services is the best way to avoid long wait times for Canadians at airports and at the border, for passport renewals and employment insurance applications.”

As the pandemic proved, strong public services are critical to see us through difficult times, and Canada needs to continue to build on that investment to be ready for the next crisis. A strong federal public service anchors Canada’s middle class and helps our economy weather the impacts of inflation.

And as more than 9,000 Canada Border Services Agency workers take strike votes across the country, PSAC is disappointed that the commitment to provide CBSA law enforcement personnel and firefighters at the Department of National Defence with equitable retirement benefits has gone unfulfilled.

PSAC would also like to have seen more investment to address the ongoing Phoenix pay disaster, strengthening Canada’s Employment Insurance system and stronger tax fairness policies to make large corporations and the wealthiest Canadians pay their fair share.




April 16, 2024