Public Values

PIPSC Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance 2008

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

PIPSC Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance 2008by Demonstrated need for funds to be reinstated in science advice, food safety, education and government infrastructure.

A budget reflects priorities whether it is a simple family budget or the multi-billion dollar federal budget. Being a sound fiscal steward means making wise choices: setting a financial course that invests in a better future for the children, anticipating potential risks like long-term illness or job loss, and taking care of critical needs as they arise to reduce harms. That is good leadership, whether in the nation's homes or in the nation's capital.

When creating a budget, the current state of affairs needs to be assessed and taken into account. Canadians today are struggling to find health services, pay for university, support their families, put food on the table and plan for the future.

At a moment in the nation's history when thousands of workers in the manufacturing sector are losing their jobs, healthcare costs are skyrocketing and retirement security is disappearing as pensions vanish, and even as new threats emerge in food safety, the global environment, and international terror, the Conservatives are slashing the very services that can keep the country strong through times of economic trouble.

The 2009 budget needs to address the following issue: Canada's ability to deal with existing and emerging issues regarding security, the environment and food and product safety. This ability is based on the capacity to provide expert knowledge for evidence based policy and decision making. It entails renewing the human capital where needed by attracting and recruiting the best and ensuring the retention of the expertise to allow for a profound knowledge transfer. Canada's experts cannot work alone in silos. Scientist, researchers, historians and archivist, auditors, security and computer experts can work at their best when they are provided with learning and career opportunities and given the opportunity to work collaboratively with colleagues through workshops and attendance at professional association meetings and conferences. This can only happen given a sound infrastructure of public buildings, laboratories, libraries and archives, and research and monitoring facilities. The underpinning of all of this is an extensive electronic network and information management system.

Unfortunately, the Minister of Finance is using the budget process to play games with Canada's health, security and safety. The Minister is rolling back vital services and creating partnerships with an unelected and unaccountable private sector that may well end up not only financially costing more in the long run but may endanger the lives of Canadians. . .

Privatization vs. Public Values Frame
  Cutting taxes / Investing in public services
  Reducing bureacracy and government payroll / Adequately staffing for research and public safety

Links and sources
  Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance - Pre-Budget Consultations 2008, posted to PIPSC website August 25, 2008

Posted: September 05, 2008

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