Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Where are the federal jobs promised?

From The Independant, Where are the jobs.
The Stephen Harper government
is not living up to its campaign
promise to return federal government
jobs to Newfoundland and
Labrador, says a spokeswoman for the
union for federal civil servants in the
Leading up to last January’s election,
the federal Conservatives promised to
create jobs by increasing military presence
in the province, returning jobs lost
during the federal Liberal administration,
and reopening the Gander weather
“The only thing that’s happened is
they (the Harper government) did do the
re-instatement at Gander weather forecasting,”
says Jeannie Baldwin, the
Public Service Alliance of Canada’s
regional executive vice-president. Even
in that instance, she says, not all the
jobs will return. “There may be 20 to 30
jobs in that area.”
A 2005 Memorial University report
stated the number of federal government
jobs in the province had dropped
to 6,970 in 2004 from 10,250 jobs in
1994 — a loss of over 3,280 jobs.
Memorial University is set to release
a final report on this study next week.
Baldwin says the news won’t be good.
“There is no big increase or fluctuation
of any federal jobs within the Newfoundland
and Labrador region.”
She says looking at the total number
of jobs lost does not tell the whole story.
She says since 1994 there has been a
disproportionate loss of federal jobs in
the province in relation to the rest of the
country. In addition, the structure of the
federal government workforce in the
province is changing.
This is reflected in the Memorial
report, which says the province has the
lowest number of executive jobs of any
province in Canada, and a far lower percentage
than should be here, according
to our population.
Baldwin says the shift of jobs out of
the province — especially executive
level jobs — is continuing.
While the number of Service Canada
jobs in the province remains at about
800, Baldwin says they’ve increased in
the Ottawa area by almost 2,000 in the
last 10 years.
“This is a re-allocation of the workload
— they have taken the work out of
the regions and relocated it in other
areas — and most of the work is being
put back into the Ottawa area,” Baldwin
MP Loyola Hearn, Newfoundland
and Labrador’s representative in cabinet,
did not return calls by The
People should be more concerned
about the repercussions of this transfer
of work, Baldwin says, adding that
fewer executive positions equal a “brain
drain” from the community.
Baldwin says people should be concerned
about the level of local control.
“Where are most of the decisions
being made? The decisions are not
being made — at the federal level —
within the Newfoundland and Labrador
region,” says Baldwin. “It’s sad, what is
She says the federal government’s
redesign of how they interact with citizens
is going to mean even fewer jobs,
and what jobs there are will be lower
paying service positions.
“They are changing the whole face of
Service Canada. They are making them
points of service. Those points of service
don’t guarantee that you are going to
get service by a live individual across
the table to sit down and help you.”
She anticipates more cuts in the
future. “The front end at the Canada
Revenue Agency is going to be eliminated.”
Baldwin says her union wants to see
more action on the promises they lobbied
so hard to win from prospective
federal candidates in the last election.
“I know it’s not been a year yet, but I
think that when they make promises
like that, they should deliver.”

Where are the Jobs and all of the other promises?
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