PSAC opposes job cuts, department mergers in GNWT budget

The Public Service Alliance of Canada North strongly opposes the austerity budget put forward by the Government of the Northwest Territories February 1.

At a time when stimulus is needed to reinvigorate the economy of the NWT, Cabinet has put forward a budget that slashes services to residents and shrinks the size of government departments.

The loss of 65 positions in the territorial government will mean a reduction in the quality of service residents receive, and the exodus of dozens of years of institutional knowledge.

“Job cuts means we have families that are packing up and moving out of the territory, and that causes a major loss in revenue entering the NWT, as well as a strong deterrent for new families to make the choice to move to the territory,” said Jack Bourassa, Regional Executive Vice President for PSAC North.

According to MLA Tom Beaulieu, even if 25 families of four decide to leave the territory due to job cuts, that’s a loss of $3 million in federal transfer payments to the NWT.

PSAC North applauds regular MLAs for proposing an alternative budget that would see spending increase to support programs like community employment support, youth suicide prevention and at-home senior care.

“It seems it’s regular MLAs who are listening to their constituents, and the Cabinet Ministers are not,” said Bourassa.

PSAC North strongly urges regular MLAs to stand together and vote against the GNWT’s proposed budget.