Public Values

Red Tape Reduction Commission puts Canadians' safety at further risk

Government bureaucracy taking precedence over public services.

Benson: One would expect government to make the effective delivery of important services a priorityOTTAWA, ON, October 1, 2012: Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, and several other ministers made announcements across the country with regards to the Red Tape Reduction Commission.

Made up of corporations and lobby groups, this partisan commission is seeking to reduce regulatory compliance instead of focusing on keeping Canadians safe from harm.

Since the launch of this commission, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) has warned that ensuring regulations that protect Canadians' health and safety are enforced override concerns about bureaucracy and red tape.

"The listeria food poisoning outbreak and the recent E. coli outbreak in Alberta are just some examples of the real and devastating impact deregulation can have on Canadian lives," said Robyn Benson, President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC).

  "While helping businesses create jobs and grow our economy is important, this cannot occur at the expense of Canadians' health and safety."

The more than 15,000 public sector workers who do this important regulatory work play a vital role in saving lives and ensuring essential food safety, health, transportation safety and environmental services are provided to Canadians efficiently.

"Given the importance of these services, one would expect the government to make their effective delivery a priority. On the contrary, this government wants fewer inspections and fewer regulations if the recent waves of public service cuts are anything to go by," Benson added.

The recent cuts starting last April have resulted in seventy regulatory positions being eliminated in beef research, aircraft services and maintenance, food born pathogen research, microbiological and viral disease research, civil aviation programs, aviation and road safety, cereal research, air quality, aquatic ecosystem management and biosphere analysis.

Canadians are clearly asking for more oversights, not the cutting of these important services. An Environics poll published two years ago confirms that 9 out of 10 Canadians want the government to do more to protect the environment, health and safety. The study also demonstrates an overwhelming majority of Canadians want government workers, not the industries themselves, to enforce regulations.

"While helping businesses create jobs and grow our economy is important, this cannot occur at the expense of Canadians' health and safety. The government needs to start listening to Canadians," concluded Benson.

Links and sources
  The Red Tape Reduction Commission: fewer inspections, fewer regulations

Posted: October 04, 2012

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