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December 14th, 2011:

The anti Public Servant mood…

… That the Harperites have created is humming right along… Just read the comments posted by some readers whenever a story about the ongoing and looking cuts to the Public Service. Most are laughable, inaccurate and downright mean… especially those found in stories published by the Sun chain. Which speaks volumes about Sun readers, methinks.

Workers in the PS are easy targets, after all. An anti PS government is ever so eager to portray them as overpaid and underworked layabouts who are counting the days till their gold plate pensioned retirements!

And of course the right wing media and SM pundits grab on to this like a Staffordshire Terrier on a ham hock. No one outside the NCR gives a shit anyhow! Win-win for the Harperites and their friends.

Yet, the reality is that we are talking about human beings here. Fellow Canadians with kids in hockey, mortgages, car payments, etc. People who pay bills, shop in restaurants and support local economies across the country. But to the CPC and many of their supporters, they are but needless drains on the Treasury.

Sure, you say, but aren’t reviews and cuts like these healthy for the PS? “Deadwood” is culled. Younger employees get new opportunities. Programs are looked at in detail to assess needs and relevance. Renewal good. And yes, I agree with this.

But what most Canadians outside the Ottawa Valley do not realise is that these reviews are not new. Nor are cuts to program’s and people. Indeed, there have been 2 major cuts over the past 5 years or so PLUS an “in effect” cut that mandated that individual departments absorb the added costs of salary costs arising from collective agreement salary increases. The central agencies (Finance) used to foot that bill.

So I really don’t know how much deadwood is still out there. Not much, I reckon. The last few years have burned it out. Maybe bit on the edges – but not much.

And if it’s not deadwood, then it will be the healthy meat of the tree that is hacked away at next.

And then maybe other Canadians will notice.

But I doubt it.