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Public service cuts

I tell my kids that “hate” is not a nice word…

… but I am finding it increasingly difficult to avoid that word when thinking Harper’s ReformCons.

Hey, I knew and we all knew that Stevie positively DESPISES the Public Service, but not even the most bitter among us could have imagined the levels to which he would stoop. But you have to remember that he has this misguided idea in his head that the PS is rife with Liberals and Socialists – and this is his revenge.

He is THAT petty. And it is certainly not the behaviour that we should see in a leader. Not even the leader of a Scout troop, never mind a country!

The pettiness is also a function of his largely so-con caucus, most of whom are either from the redneck West or the bumpkin demographic of rural Canada. And they want red meat to feed to their sheep-like supporters.

The big question I have is: what do they think they can cut? The PS has been gutted over the past six years and there really isn’t anywhere else to slash and burn. I know this to be true.

In the meantime, they carry on with their almost comical celebrations of a 200 year war between two foreign nations.

And look! Gazebo Tony is in charge!

Sigh.

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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.

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