A three-way initiative supported by the Province, the City of Charlottetown, and unions representing federal employees on the Island is being launched to preserve federal jobs.
“Maintaining a strong federal presence on the Island is absolutely vital,” says Premier Robert Ghiz. “And I am very pleased to see so many groups and individuals working together to make a strong case to Ottawa.”
The initiative is in response to widespread reports that the Government of Canada’s efforts to balance the books will result in lay-offs or the elimination of federal positions.
“Federal jobs are essential to the vitality of the City of Charlottetown. We need to ensure that those making decisions in the Federal Government recognize the social and financial impact federal employment has on our community,” says Mayor Clifford Lee.
Research is being commissioned that will seek to document the depth and breadth of potential federal job losses on Prince Edward Island. Work will also be undertaken to determine the economic impact of federal jobs here and what potential cuts could mean to the Island economy.
The Provincial Government, City of Charlottetown, Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) say that the research will lead to the development of a common strategy to try and convince the Government of Canada of the significant role that federal jobs play on Prince Edward Island.
“The vast majority of Canadians did not give Harper’s Conservatives a mandate to cut the jobs and services they depend on,” says Jeannie Baldwin, Atlantic Regional Executive Vice-President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. “With this study, we are building our case that federal jobs must remain on Prince Edward Island.”
“At the end of the day, we need to work together to make our case that federal public sector jobs are key to the economic lifeblood of smaller communities like those on Prince Edward Island; and, we have to do all we can to ensure that the jobs remain in those communities,” said Gary Corbett, President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada who represents 279 professionals at Veterans Affairs Canada, Charlottetown.
The work is being undertaken by the law firm of McInnes Cooper. It is anticipated that a draft of this study will be available by the end of the month.