Veterans Affairs cutting hundreds of jobs

Teresa Wright
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Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans Affairs Canada plans to cut 500 positions over the next four years and may be forced to cut upwards of 800 if the Conservative government imposes further budget reductions on the department, according to a senior government official.

Earlier this week, federal documents revealed plans to cut $226 million from the VAC budget. The spending cuts stem from a strategic review undertaken by 13 other federal departments and agencies aimed at reducing government spending.

Department officials told media the reductions would mainly come from the dwindling number of older veterans accessing services.

But on Thursday, The Guardian learned from a senior official in government, who spoke under an agreement of anonymity, these budget cuts will result in roughly 500 positions at VAC being cut over the next four years.

Even more jobs may be on the line if the Harper government approves further budget reductions in its next budget.

All government departments and agencies have undergone an operational review aimed at slashing $4 billion from the federal budget by cutting either five or 10 per cent from each department.

If a 10 per cent reduction is imposed on VAC, another 300 department jobs will also be lost, the source told The Guardian.

If a lesser cut of five per cent is imposed, 150 positions would be eliminated on top of the 500 currently on the chopping block.

That would be a loss of almost a third of the roughly 2,200 positions in the department.

Yvan Thauvette, national president for the Union of Veterans Affairs Employees, says employees were told about the possibility of 400-500 positions being eliminated, but he was not aware of further imminent job losses.

Nonetheless, he and all employees of the department are very concerned about their futures.

"The employees are getting nervous because they don't know if they will still have a job tomorrow in some cases," Thauvette said.

"We see numbers but we're never sure where the department is going and I'm not even sure that department even knows where it's going sometimes."

The union leader said he is concerned not only about the loss of so many jobs, but the potential negative effects such massive cuts would have on veteran services.

He believes it would especially affect the time it takes to process client case files.

"It's very easy for the department to send someone a cheque, but they don't always need money. They need health services, they need support from case managers, from client service agents. And that takes months."

Department officials strongly maintain that cuts to department spending will not affect veteran benefits.

"We want to be very clear in saying that there will be no cuts to veterans' benefits," said Codie Taylor, spokesperson for Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney, in an email to The Guardian.

"Changes at the Department of Veterans Affairs are focused on improving efficiency, cutting unnecessary red-tape and improving service delivery."

It is not known how many of the over 1,300 jobs at the Charlottetown VAC headquarters will be affected by the imminent cuts.

But Thauvette believes Charlottetown will not escape unscathed.

"Will they cut in Charlottetown? Probably at some point because in the regions they are already at the lowest level possible to deliver services and in some cases I believe they (the regions) would need additional resources," he said.

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

 

Organizations: Veterans Affairs Canada, The Guardian, Union of Veterans Affairs Employees Department of Veterans Affairs

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • connie
    April 04, 2012 - 19:46

    It is now April....where were these job cuts to DVA? None...but there are approx 40 people at Medavie Blue Cross who are now wondering if they still have jobs. This is where the VIP claims are paid. These are 40 people who care about the Veterans who served our country. These are the people who attempt to contact DVA to get answers on Vets questions and concerns. They care about the Veterans and want to protect them and strive each and every day to ensure they receive their cheques. They stay on top of things to ensure DVA answers all questions so they can process claims asap, which is what the Veteans deserve. They have steps in place to protect the clients from fraud from family members and service providers. The VIP claim forms are not the problem...the paperwork and wait time DVA has in place just for the Veteran to receive their eligibility is what creates the problems. The analsyts dont receive the money at Medavie that they would if they worked for the Federal Gov, but Medavie treats their employees with honesty and respect and it was they treat their clients with as well. The analysts in the Charlottetown office all love their jobs and take pride in doing work for the people in this country who deserve the best custmer service ever...our Veterans.

  • former VAC employee
    November 29, 2011 - 21:53

    Need to trim the fat at the top 1st . Too many managers in each district office. Also the practice of hiring one's cousins, sisters & family members should be looked at. Competions are also fixed & people supplied with the answers so that friends & relatives get the jobs. Have to admit there is a great deal of fooling around extended lunch breaks & extended coffee breaks going on as well. They do not have it hard believe me.

  • From the North Shore
    October 22, 2011 - 08:01

    TO ALL DVA WORKERS : Maybe some of us would have some sympathy for you if is wasn't for all the backhanded comments I've heard over the years from some of the DVA employees I know. Lets roll a few off ........ "Sick days are like holidays. Use them or lose them." "Living the dream." "I'll slack off through the day .... stay late .... and put in for overtime. Been doing it for years" "Got a trip to Ottawa coming. Travel Expenses and overtime are paying for Christmas presents this year." "They make us take our break whether we want it or not. Working through them does not go over well from the long time DVA'ers. " "I leave at 2:00pm every Thursday. I just leave my light on and coat behind. They think I am still there. I just say I have a meeting." "Imagine getting the same pay as the guy in Alberta who's cost of living is 3 times as high." "I got 5 weeks banked vacation." "This year I'm working 11 over 12and I get my 6 weeks vacation to boot. Gonna be a good year. I think you get the picture. PS - Just roll into and local golf course on any weekday afternnon in the summer and you'll find a bunch of DVA'ers our golfing when there are veterans at home starving to death or in pain becasue they dont have medical coverage and there files are sitting at the botton of a pile on some of their desks. .

  • seaBruce
    October 22, 2011 - 04:08

    They have a hard enough time serving now, I can't imagine if they are cut. Treated like dirt: I had to call the main office in PEI to leave a message to talk to a case worker in BC. Incredible. They denied my claim out of hand, and still haven't followed up on a doctor's exam to review my file...

  • Gerry
    October 21, 2011 - 15:48

    @Those Poor Overpaid People and similar mindsets - you have choices in life as to what you want to be and where you want to be. Time to convert that poison attitude and waste of time loathing others into positive energy versus being envious and begrudging others their success in life.

  • Bruce
    October 21, 2011 - 14:51

    He could get rid of 32 high paying jobs by getting rid of the Vrab. Then he could Can every one who looks into peoples files with no authority then he could can every one that won't make a positive gesture to help a vet. That would just about Clean out 800 positions with room to spare.

  • THOSE POOR OVER PAID PEOPLE
    October 21, 2011 - 14:23

    There are so many ways th government can save money. cutting a few jobs is not the only way. I think the federal government should look at cutting back on some of the luxurious benifets those gov employees recieve. the government should act like a parent, lead by example. start paying them the saem as the private sector gets paid, cut back the benifets to the same as the private sector, give up the 98% maternity leave for the mothers to same as the private sector, thats just to name a few. there are so many ways they can cut back. Our government have their priorities wrong. I am sure that the governmtent emplyees would much rather cut back a bit than to lose your jobs all together. i know people that work for the VAC that can take pretty much the whole summer off in vacation time, or just work 3 days a week for the whole summer. meanwhile i have to work in the private sector and never got my 3rd week vaction till i was there 10 years, and i don't recive sick days at all. so please spare me your tears, look at the big picture,

    • tears
      October 21, 2011 - 16:02

      Spare you their tears? Why? Just because you have a problem with their pay and benefits, the PEOPLE of whom you speak have no right to be concerned over job loss or take exception to some of the spiteful, stereotypical, comments being posted about them? Big picture indeed.

  • Garth Staples
    October 21, 2011 - 14:16

    Please stop - October 21, 2011 at 11:11:56 Garth, if you find the Guardian is wrong and you don't like it then stop reading it and especially stop posting to its website. That would make many of us happy ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Our Vets made sure I have freedom of speech just as the Guardian has freedom of the press. Liberals never supported our Military only when it was politically advantageous. That's the Liberal way and part of their entitlement; fortunately for democracy their fortunes have been spent.

    • Please Stop
      October 21, 2011 - 15:01

      Garth, just as long as you understand all people have freedom of speech and not just Tories or Tory supporters.

  • pjones
    October 21, 2011 - 12:46

    Wow, stories about the VAC really seem to bring the angry, bitter trolls out of the woodwork. I can't help but wonder, if I were to go back in time to the last occasion where you applied for a Veterans Affairs job, and asked you if the position you were applying for should exist, would you say 'yes' or 'no'? I'm pretty sure you'd say 'yes'. What a curious coincidence, that only when it's someone else's job at stake you're all for having the place downsized. IMO we should 'downsize' the Island, and drive out all the unwanted people who have no care of compassion for their fellow Islanders.

  • marc fortier
    October 21, 2011 - 12:02

    I am an injured veteran. The dva treated me like dirt. I guess that is the return of the elevator. Let them learn to survive on minimum wage or less.

    • dirt
      October 21, 2011 - 16:06

      So how do you define being treated "like dirt"? Being told you aren't eligible for something? Trouble is, eligibility and the type of services available to you are defined by Ottawa.

  • A Veteran's Family Member
    October 21, 2011 - 11:43

    The state of our country and the focus of our government is not only extremely dissappointing, it is scary. This goes beyond the services required and deserved by the selfless people who serve this country....these cuts just prove that the Harper Government is more concerned with a balanced budget and the appearance of being able to control the economy, and an agenda of privatization (little to no Public Service) than honoring and providing the services & benefitrs to not only those who have ensured (and continue to ensure) our countries freedom, but Canadians as a whole. Even the USA, a country historically focused on privatization, has backed off cutting back their civil service obigations in their Veterans Affairs... As for the comments and gossip around unproductive employees, there are bad seeds everywhere and mechanisms in place to deal with those employees... it certainly demonstrates these peoples mentality by bragging about it (true or not)...but how does cutting jobs at VAC (a.k.a. - those who provide the services, direct or not, to Veterans) fix those bad seeds? It doesn't, it punishes the hard workers (the majority) and the Veterans (the whole reason for existance for the department and the reason this country is &continues to be free today).

    • serge
      October 25, 2011 - 13:10

      It seems that you did not understand: they are not cutting on the VAC programs but told VAC to get back into a administrative shape..

  • A Vet
    October 21, 2011 - 11:02

    Come on folks like most of the government departments they are so bloody overloaded with people they are stumbling over each other while one stands in line to talk to someone. Look at the CBC a bunch of overpaid talking heads who are not really that sharp on world affairs. Every time you see one of these opinion givers on Political shows they are paid about $250 for fifteen minutes of bias. One other thing keep he people in Veterans Affairs who can speak English or French and not a lot of words that are not understood.

  • Garth Staples
    October 21, 2011 - 10:21

    My dear 'Please stop ' whoever you are ! The vets that I know and have worked and travelled with would never tell me I should not have freedom of speech nor should someone else dictate what I should read or not read. Only a Liberal would do that. Liberals don't like anything military unless they can create an issue which they deem to their benefit . That has been their modis operandi and entitlement for a century. Now it is coming to an end. What a pleasure.

  • Ashamed at the Ignorance
    October 21, 2011 - 09:47

    Reading these comments has really saddened me, and I am thoroughly ashamed that there are such a number of ignorant, judegmental people on this Island. Like "Thank you to Unreal", I too work at VAC and count my blessing every single day...I also, along with countless other's who do so with quiet dignity, work through lunches and breaks, weekends, late nights, early mornings and take work home ...and do so because we care about the work, our Clients, and rarely to never, ever speak a word about it nor look for any type of praise let alone compensation for it....we do it on our own time because we care. We are proud of our jobs, we are grateful and we work very very hard. Never, because of the few 'dead weights", did I ever think that any of us would have to defend ourselves. I love my job, I feel for those we serve and strive every day to do the best I can for them....and what is being said is hateful and hurtful. No one should judge until they've walked in the other's shoes.... I can't believe things have come to this and so many are being so petty.... I would never wish a job loss on anyone for any reason, and I cant' believe the ignorance that is being demonstrated in some of these comments. I only pray none of you have to go through the stress of potentially loosing your job and the hurt felt of being thrown under the bus when you work your heart out. The three "D's" are settling in....Disappointed, discouraged and disheartened.

    • wow
      October 21, 2011 - 10:17

      You are the only one, if you work through your lunch break, etc... If some positions were cut, maybe the veterans would get the pension the deserve. As of right now many do not.

    • Thank you to Unreal
      October 21, 2011 - 12:49

      Do you realize your are calling me ignorant and judgemental but at the same time you are saying the same thing as I am? I am not saying VAC employees are lazy...I am saying there are employees like that in EVERY organization and that we shouldn't be judge because of those few.

    • Thank you to Unreal
      October 21, 2011 - 12:51

      ...and if I was looking for praise...my name would be on here.

    • Thank You to Unreal
      October 21, 2011 - 12:55

      I'm sorry...I read your comment out of context and I appologize for my previous comments.

    • IGNORE IGNORANCE
      October 21, 2011 - 23:00

      Yes, there are a good many comments posted by people who sound astonishingly ignorant, likely through no fault of their own. Never take them personally, just listen to them and observe THEIR HURTING. They have something bottled up or they would not be posting --seems to me, anyway.

  • pingu
    October 21, 2011 - 09:35

    At DVA and elsewhere in the Feds, there are way too many upper middle managers. That is where the cuts should start...with these lucrative posts.

  • Remembering
    October 21, 2011 - 09:19

    I am remembering why Veterans' Affairs was created. Yes many of the WWII vets are going to their great reward, but there are still RCMP officers who will retire and become clients of VAC. There are peace keepers and serving military...wars or not. There are those who risked life and limb in conflicts since WWII. If there aren't enough people to handle their government administered programs (pension, medical, other benefits), then the wait times will become longer and the frustration with staff greater. I have heard lots of talk on the street about 'lazy' employees, but I have yet to meet one. I would say that anyone who has to deal with teh family of a fallen soldier would be a caring and compasionate employee....not someone who doesn't do enough to earn a coffee break. I would venture a guess that those who are making the rude remarks are jealous of the people who worked hard to get their headquarters position in Charlottetown. On another note, I could say there are a lot of stores in PEI where the staff is so busy talking about 'omg...did you see what she was wearing?' or 'she's a skank' or 'they don't pay me to do that'. It is called human nature. Humans are not perfect, and there are a lot of them out there taking up space and collecting a pay cheque. However, if you haven't worked for the Feds, you have no idea of the requirements put on the workers. I wouldn't want to go back to work in the public sector ever again because there is little consistency in anything and you never know when a politician will drop the ax.

  • sasha
    October 21, 2011 - 08:12

    It would be nice to know how many people in VAC in Charlottetown are working on "front lines" (employees who talk with number of Veterans every day) and how many are management and administration support. The only time I ever asked of someone working in government to speak with her supervisor I ended up in a meeting with six people, each one of them with less knowledge and less hands on experience than the actual employee I was dealing with.

  • Dwayne
    October 21, 2011 - 08:04

    Having worked in private sector for 15 years, and the public sector for 3 years (Vac), I have to say that many of these comments are coming from a perspective of total ignornance. Myself and my colleagues work to deliver essential services to the men and women who have bravely served and are serving our country. Celebrating possible lay offs or cuts to these services is a sad reflection that we have sunk to a new low of compassion and empathy in this country. Approximately 1/3 of the staff of Vac are aging and elligible to retire within the next 5 years. As our client base unfortunately shrinks as we are losing many of our Veterans, Vac retirements will take care of many of the required cut backs in the years to come as we continue to serve the new Veterans of the RCMP and military.

  • Downtown Doug
    October 21, 2011 - 07:58

    It is a sad moment for the veterans quite frankly. Already there are issues in not supplying them with proper care and support for their needs. I don't disagree that many of my friends who work there share their frustration over the red tape of how they can do their jobs and bosses who are ladder climbers and just don't know how to manage. The hiring practices are mechanical and lack the understanding of what the job requires and who exactly would be a good fit. Instead they have it setup in such a way that the management don't know the personality that is being placed nor do they have a say in it. My concern is that people will lose their jobs while senior staff will continue to get buy-out deals and then get hired back on as contract work. Frustration is that many look to DVA as a high paying employer rather than a service provider for Veterans. Procedures are put in place to provide CYA for managment, government and employees but not in order to process the Veteran's needs. I think that would save the money righ there if they started looking at what they are there for!

  • Question
    October 21, 2011 - 07:45

    Wondering who the "senior government official " is? Is this another leak filled with half truths?

  • Save
    October 21, 2011 - 07:27

    M.P Casey will save these jobs.Just watch Casey at the bat.

  • grampie
    October 21, 2011 - 06:40

    Another day and we hear of more government job losses. While I don't like to hear of people losing their jobs, it must be considered that most government employees don't work awfully hard. As one person put it, some don't work hard enough to have a coffee break. I have heard more that one government employee tell me that the union has told them not to work so hard as it makes the lazy employee look bad. I trust that when jobs are cut that the people that deserve to be cut are cut with seniority having nothing to do with it.

    • tk
      October 21, 2011 - 11:06

      @Grampie - I work for the feds(not VAC). I'm represented by the biggest union in Canada, the PSAC. I have never been told by the union or my co-workers to slow down. I've worked in the private sector until last spring, and I haven't noticed myself getting lazier since I've been here.

    • But Grampie...
      October 21, 2011 - 13:14

      Most of the hundreds of people I work with work so hard we can't take our coffee breaks or even our lunches most day. Please don't speak about something you obviously are clueless about. What you are getting is hearsay. I've never been told to "not work so hard". I have however been told that bitter people like you are just jealous. Hearsay on my part but I believe it more than I believe what you're saying.

  • just wondering
    October 21, 2011 - 06:27

    will anyone notice!!!!!!!!

  • Garth Staples
    October 21, 2011 - 06:13

    There is a lot of misinformation here and mischieviously being spread by Liberal Casey MP. Just like his attempt to follow the Ghiz Govts course and blame the Fed Govt for polluting the harbour! When it was Ghiz who dropped the ball. As one contributor said:"get your facts right Guardian".

    • Please stop
      October 21, 2011 - 10:12

      Garth, if you find the Guardian is wrong and you don't like it then stop reading it and especially stop posting to its website. That would make many of us happy.

  • jh
    October 21, 2011 - 02:04

    city resident well join the military

  • I care about Veterans
    October 20, 2011 - 22:14

    Unless you have experienced working to impact a Veteran's life in a positive way, I think it is difficult for anyone to truly understand the impact of job cuts to VAC staff. I work on the front lines of VAC and our staff has already been cut so far, it is unbelievable. Not only does is make it nearly impossible to provide the exemplary service to Veterans we have in the past, but now we have been asked to take on yet another area's workload. We have been experiencing a loss of staff for some time and as staff leave, they are not being replaced. To further reduce will only hurt our Veterans. The people I work with are the most compassionate, hard working and conscientous employees I have had the pleasure to work with. I have worked in private sector and have never met a more dedicated group of people trying hard everyday to help our Veterans. What these job cuts really sound like to me, is sourcing out more work to a company such as Medavie Blue Cross. Contracting work out is supposed to be beneficial, but unfortunately, it has not worked to the Veteran's benefit thus far, but the people at the top, just don't see this. As staff, we can't stop any of this from happening, but one can hope that the people making decisions like this, take some time to work on the front lines, to find out where much of the most talented, knowledgeable and dedicated staff are and consider cutting costs by being fiscally responsible rather that staff. I love my job because I have the opportunity to help our Veterans. Veterans are like family to me and I hope that I am able to continue serving these deserving people. I

    • lol
      October 20, 2011 - 23:11

      Hey I work for VAC too. This place is staffed with lazy, inept people. If VAC was privatized, I'd say it would take 1/3 of the people to run it. Half of the people here don't even know how to work a computer when they work on one every single day. It's sad... I do agree that these jobs leaving PEI will be a huge blow to our economy. Hopefully as people retire, more won't be hired on to replace them (rather than straight up letting people go...).

    • IT Guy
      October 21, 2011 - 06:45

      Hey LOL, half the prople I have ever met who use a computer every day don't kinow how to use one or understand how it works. It has nothing to do with DVA. This is an area where people seem almost proud to be ignorant. "It is just those geeky IT people who understand this stuff. I'm normal. I don't need to know and don't care" We still get calls that they can't use a CD because the cup holder is broken. (I am not kidding, either)

    • IT guy
      October 21, 2011 - 08:15

      LOL, you don't know much about the IT industry if you think more than half of people who use computers have a clue how anything works. Many people take it as a badge of honour that they arent' one of the geeks who understand this stuff.

  • MagnussonR
    October 20, 2011 - 21:37

    Words is that the provincial govt is actively seeking to lure a potentially lucrative call-centre contract to PEI. This may help offset the coming losses at DVA.

    • the Kid
      October 21, 2011 - 01:41

      It is against federal law to retreat federal job without replacing them... so see more service canada jobs whether call centre or nose picking; to take place. If DVA loses more than 21% of their jobs your current PM's are not fulfilling their job description.

  • VACer
    October 20, 2011 - 21:29

    This article is so full of errors that the overall message loses its value. There are 4100 VAC employees; there are about 1800 in Charlottetown. The Union of VA only represents about 2600 staff - PIPSC and PSAC are also representative unions. Staff reductions of approx 500 over the entire dept (not just Charlottetown) over 4 years will include retirements, so do not represent layoff numbers. The additional cuts from the deficit reduction (5% or 10%) will likely result in layoffs but nothing will be decided until after the budget. Other things to consider that are not mentioned - the transfer of staff from VAC to the new Shared Services Canada (80 so far) and what will happen to them and their jobs. And, the fact that the numbers of traditional (elderly) vets is NOT decreasing as expected; and there are many new vets thanks to Afghanistan. Guardian - check your facts to support your source.

  • Unreal
    October 20, 2011 - 21:27

    The ignorance of those who write with "glee" and "happiness" of your fellow Islanders losing their jobs should be ashamed. Individual's working at VAC have tested, studied and competed to earn their positions, many, if not most, have worked in private sector, some in Provincial Government and their careers lead to a role in Federal Government because of hard work. They thought their jobs were safe. They work hard every day to serve both the traditional Veterans as well as the new Veterans who have more challenging needs and service requirements. Service Delivery, rest assured, will be greatly affected, time lines are already lengthy for follow ups, payments, decisions, and it with less staff, it will surely get worse. Sadly, I dare say it won't be the top Directors and Administrators losing their jobs, it will be the workers delivering service, the staff with the connections to the Veterans and the heart of the Department. Job loses will affect everyone, do you think the City Parkades will get their $90 / month, the local restaurants, The Confed Mall may as well close up shop, the car dealerships, housing market, the staff won't be there to spend. The staff may make good salaries, but they also spend it. Please be considerate, these are tough and stressful times and a little compassion and not ignorance would be appreciated.

    • Thank You to Unreal
      October 21, 2011 - 06:48

      I have been a VAC employee for over 10 years. Everyday I count my blessings and I realize how lucky I am to have my job and all of the perks that come with it. I also realize what an amazing job it is to be able to serve such a special group of people. Should I be one of those unlucky enough to lose my job at VAC, I will obviously be devastated but will thank God that I was lucky enough to have it as long as I had it. To those who call us lazy and say we do nothing but twiddle our thumbs...there are thousands of VAC employees, the chances of getting a few lazy ones are out there as in any other company. I challenge you to find any company out there with more than 10-15 employees and prove that everyone one of them are honest, hardworking people. If could look at percentages, I'm sure we would be on par with any private company in that respect. I'll never understand the jealousy that comes from some Islanders about people with government jobs. I never had it...even before when I work in the private sector. I'm sure if VAC (or any other department) walked up to your door today and offered you a full time job making thousands more than you do now...you'd take it. I worked very hard to get my job, I was tested, tested, tested and re-tested. Then put on a list for almost a year before I was asked to take more tests, then interviewed and offered a 6 month term. It took me almost two full years to get this position. I left an OK job in the private sector (which I worked in for 10 years before I got this job) praying that this one would be permanent and it took me 3 years to get to that point. I work hard, very hard. I stay late, come in on the weekend to get things done, eat my lunch at my desk because I don't have time to go out. I've seen myself come in at 7:00 AM and leave at 11:30 PM to ensure things are completed on time. RARELY do I claim my overtime hours but that again is because I realize how fortunate I am to have this job. Losing it would be horrible not only for those of us who do lose our jobs but for many businesses on PEI. 95% of my salary is spent here on PEI as I'm sure is the case for many of my colleagues so that money will not only be taken from us but Island businesses. I'm sure I can't change your bitter feelings towards us but I ask that you think before you shout for joy at the thoughts of our jobs being taken away. Try to put yourself in our shoes. If you're employer suddenly came out and said that 10% of jobs were going to be cut where you work...I'm sure you would feel differently than you do now.

    • Ed Gallant
      October 21, 2011 - 11:24

      If you have been working for DVA for ten years and you work from 7Am to 11.30 PM, work thru your lunch hour, come in on weekends and take work home with you, then you are either grossly overworked or grossly incompetent.

  • Thinking it through
    October 20, 2011 - 21:19

    Imagine when all those well paid jobs leave PEI and most of the people who had them go elsewhere to seek work. Imagine that the tax base in PEI drops significantly and there aren't enough taxpayers earning enough to cover the cost of welfare, teachers' salaries' ; nurses salaries; hospital costs and doctors' salaries. Imagine when all those so called high paid VAC employees don't have any money to spend in the downtown core of Charlottetown or even outside of town. Imagine when the staff of over 1000 people working in Charlottetown is reduced to a handful of clerical positions....just imagine what it will be like to be a small business owner then. Where will all the money come from to keep you afloat? VAC has been a great boon to the Island and it will change the economy greatly in a bad way if it disappears or almost disappears. Pity.

  • Gerry
    October 20, 2011 - 21:07

    For those who are not familiar with federal government departments, when cuts are being made it is very unusual that it would be applicable to only one region. Having said that, VAC employs approximately 4100 people across the country. Islanders, in addition to other provinces will feel the affects, so those habitual "poor me whiners," sitting in judgement of government employees, should not be so hastey in gloating over someonelse's loss of employment. Pathetic mentality.

  • working guy
    October 20, 2011 - 21:01

    JOe Nobody..boy have you got self-esteemed issues or what......somebody has to flip the pizza's,and it will not be DVA or ACOA people it will be those who left school to early for various reasons and find themselves needing more education or a trade and gas money...people have been leaving and coming to PEI for 300 years in fact a lot of us have..to get an education,a job,a career or some experience....and I don't consider myself a snivelling loser ......have patience the economy goes up and down like a toilet seat...govt spend then cut,spend then cut,spend then cut ..it;s called balancing the budget

  • grumpie
    October 20, 2011 - 20:54

    keep on voting liberal, and you will have less, but dont dispare, the Irvings are at the pork barrel, so you will get more fedral hand outs, just from another handler. anyway isnt it time those freeloaders at DVA, who are there to freeload, get the boot and move on.

  • Guardian reader
    October 20, 2011 - 20:50

    ok, so we read that 500 jobs are going, most people say 1 out of 3 in DVA Charlottetown don't do enough in a day to earn a coffee break. The free ride is over and some of these folks may find out what it is like to work in the private sector. This reminds me of the old CFB Summerside fear, politicians would use it to cry for pity almost every year, the community only came ahead when it finally closed. All WW2 vets are over 80, do we really expect to keep the same number of people working in this department when they all pass away? Time for a reality check, stop whining and face the facts, we don't want our country to become like Greece.

  • Save
    October 20, 2011 - 20:28

    Watch Casey at the bat.He will save the jobs.

  • Save
    October 20, 2011 - 20:26

    Don,t worry Casey will save the jobs.I guess he has a meeting every day with thePM .Watch Casey at the bat.

  • jmisthemal
    October 20, 2011 - 20:18

    As a rule when public servants are reduced there is little to no impact. I expect this will be the same. It will impact the Island economy and help the Canadian economy.

  • John W.A. Curtis
    October 20, 2011 - 19:55

    P.E.I. has long been described as a federally funded amusement park. islanders are apathic and care little about the provate sector. Now if cuts in the public sector come to Charlottetown people will get the message and start looking afte5r us in the private sector.

  • Town Resident
    October 20, 2011 - 19:50

    A "senior government official" should know that the department employs roughly 4100 people, not 2200.....

  • joe Nobody
    October 20, 2011 - 19:36

    Souris lost over 400 jobs, but they all got placements with Forestry and other jobs to be able to get half the stamps they need. Maybe Al Roach can get all these discharged cats on trudging through the streams and rivers all summer? Perhaps the fact that cuts are coming to Charlottetown, now job losses are a big deal. CBC announced that Sean Casey made a "coup" today, but that was just biased sunshine blown at Sean. Charlottetown likes to elect Liberals and maybe Harper has a disgust for PEI and the entitled representatives. .................The Reality is....... people are leaving and giving up on PEI and if you are young or able you are best advised to leave. Build a life where you can escape the corrupted entitlement in PEI where 63% of GDP is government spending. PEI is a government sponsored theme park and the party is over for Souris and Charlottetown too. When the ACOA and DVA cats are flipping pizza they can thank Sean Casey for keeping the minimum wage down. Harper should cancel a couple of our MP seats and it would be a good offering from PEI. We always remind everyone we are a province to, but really we are only a bunch of snivelling losers whining for more money to feed our parasites in Chatlottetown accounting and legal firms. High priced homes in Charlottetown fell 10% this week with these federal house cleanings. Souris homes have falllen by 75% so far. Three stooges in Ottawa will need more coup's

  • Accountability
    October 20, 2011 - 19:35

    It's all about accountability and it needs to happen. I have worked in government, had contracts at DVA among other departments. There are many people being paid good money for no reason. Something has to change and this is only the beginning. The Provincial Gov't is not long to follow. The liberals have their 2nd term, got their pensions now, it's coming this term. It's a cycle that is a long time coming.

  • Rob Mac
    October 20, 2011 - 19:26

    Thauvette is not aware of other imminent job losses - hello!!! There are 5% or 10% reduction targets for the 2012 Budget for all Depts... Glad he is not representing me!

  • city resident
    October 20, 2011 - 19:11

    Well like people say the days of job security are gone. I know I would like to have a job where I have work only 37.5 hours a week and get 3 weeks vacation pay the first year of employment. Also get set up with a retirement package that the employer helps with......

  • Stephen Harper
    October 20, 2011 - 18:51

    Let me be unequivocal a "fraction" of DVA will stay in PEI.

    • does it really matter
      October 20, 2011 - 19:32

      Dan MacDonald and Trudeau moved DVA down here as a decentralization project. It never made any sense to the rest of Canada but PEI sure loved it. If DVA packed up and moved, only PEI would protest. And that's only 4 ridings anyway. Harper doesn't care. His predecessors Martin and Chretien and Campbell and Mulroney and even Turner and Trudeau never cared about PEI either. The federal presence in PEI was halved in 1989 when CFB Summerside was shut down and CN Rail abandoned. Then it was further cut when Marine Atlantic shut down and 700 jobs were gone in 1997. If they get rid of say 400-500 jobs at DVA in Charlottetown by 2014, that will reduce the federal presence to a core of less than 1000 federal employees for all departments. Expect to see more in DND (I would say all but 1 reserve unit will be left - see recent recruitment cuts), DFO (Gail Shea's much touted office in Tignish will almost certainly be closed), Transport Canada, Public Works, Parks Canada (the park is eroding away anyway), etc. This is all about the Alberta and Ontario agendas. Unfortunately it's real people and residents of PEI and their families who will be hurt - just like they have during previous budget cuts in 1989, 1992 and 1994-1997. Sucks to be us in a one-industry province (eg. government) like PEI.