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Department of Veterans Affairs
P.E.I. is expected to lose 446 federal civil service jobs by 2015, according to a study the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released Tuesday.
The study, which tried to project the number of job cuts in Atlantic Canada, expects the region to see a disproportionate impact from the cuts, especially P.E.I.
Jeannie Baldwin, regional executive vice-president for the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), said the report findings are in line with an earlier study the City of Charlottetown, the provincial government and PSAC commissioned to look at the cuts.
“The province least equipped to shoulder the burden is being asked to carry out the heaviest load,” she said.
Of the 446 jobs the study expects P.E.I. to lose, most of those will be from Veterans Affairs Canada where the report predicts 332 jobs will be gone by 2015.
The report was in response to the federal government’s plan to reduce costs through job cuts that have already been announced and more that are still to come.
In compiling the report, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) used data that was available as of March 2012, including media and union sources.
Christine Saulnier, CCPA Nova Scotia’s director, said the cuts in P.E.I. amount to 16 per cent of the province’s federal government workforce.
Cuts across the region amount to about $300 million in lost income, including $34 million for P.E.I., she said.
“That’s a significant amount of money that would be lost in terms of income and that will have an impact in terms of taxation and revenue going into our provincial governments.”
Yvon Thauvette, a Veterans Affairs Canada employee representative, said the department is cutting jobs but hiring retirees and casual workers to fill its needs while also outsourcing work.
“That’s not saving taxpayers’ dollars in any way,” he said.
The cuts have also led to the closure of VAC district offices, which will lead to reductions in the quality of service, Thauvette said.
“The Cadillac service we used to offer our veteran is now gone.”
In compiling the report, the CCPA recommended the government stop cutting more jobs until an analysis of the job cuts is done.