The Speech From the Throne: More Anticipated Threats to Canada's Public Service :: Association of Justice Counsel News
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October 18th, 2013
October 18th, 2013
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The Speech From the Throne: More Anticipated Threats to Canada's Public Service

You work hard on behalf of Canadians and deserve respect, recognition and representation - nothing less.

Beyond all the talk about a so-called 'consumers first agenda' and its attempt to distract the public, the Speech from the Throne of the Harper government contained a few bits of information that point to tough contract negotiations as we head into 2014.

As AJC members will see by reading these two articles (from The Ottawa Citizen and the CBC), among other things, the speech included elements referring to cuts in the public service and to spending freezes.

After inheriting a $ 14-billion surplus in 2006, and transforming it into a $ 29-billion deficit (while reducing the GST by two points and reducing the corporate income tax rate), this government has reiterated its intention of eliminating the deficit by 2015.

In this week's Throne Speech, the government repeated its intention to reform the public service's sick leave system and to revise performance management to provide cheaper service to Canadians.

Another surprising element of the speech was a reference to an amendment to the Public Service Labour Relations Act. We will keep a close eye on this one because collective bargaining is a democratic right and the PSLRA cannot be weakened.

The Throne Speech, which is reflective of this government's overall philosophy, is a good reminder for us that we need a unified approach as we head into what will surely be tough negotiations next year.

The government is setting the stage for a showdown and we can expect the Conservatives to use public sector employees as punching bags as they head to the polls in 2015.

You work hard on behalf of Canadians and deserve respect, recognition and representation - nothing less.

Lisa Blais,
President of the Association of Justice Counsel


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