Conservative platform a recipe for public service job losses and service cuts

The newly released Conservative party platform confirmed what many in the federal public service feared; Andrew Scheer is planning to pick up where Stephen Harper left off.

The Conservative plan looks to slash government operations by a staggering $14.4 billion and recklessly gut 25% of government regulations. In the end, cutting “operations” always means reducing the services Canadians receive and eliminating the jobs of those who provide them.

Needless cuts to federal regulations can dramatically weaken existing rules that protect the environment, federally regulated workers, and the health and safety of Canadians. It can also be expected to result in layoffs of federal public service workers responsible for developing and administering these frameworks.

And in the wake of Phoenix, a disaster the Conservatives engineered, Scheer’s platform doesn’t even mention the failed pay system, but instead calls for a hiring freeze for full-time federal government workers. This will lead to the loss of thousands of federal government jobs in the years to come and hurt the economy of communities across Canada.

“The Conservatives are trying to balance the budget on the backs of federal public service workers – the same men and women who haven’t even been paid properly for over four years because of the Phoenix disaster they started,” said Chris Aylward, President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

“It was clear from the start that Andrew Scheer was no better than Stephen Harper, and today he confirmed it.”  SOURCE

The power of community: How a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens felled a coal facility

Image result for ecojustice: The power of community: How a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens felled a coal facility
Photo by by Jim Maurer, via Flickr

There is a famous quotation often attributed to Margaret Mead that goes, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

The grassroots group Communities and Coal is proof of this.

When the Fraser Surrey Docks project threatened the health and safety of communities in B.C.’s Lower Mainland — and the climate —Communities and Coal stood up to the proposed coal transfer facility.

Members of the organization coordinated town hallsattended protests, and encouraged thousands of people to share their concerns about the project during a public comment period. With Ecojustice’s help, Communities and Coal and local residents Paula Williams and Christine Dujmovich also took their fight to court.

Against many odds, Communities and Coal brought people from across the Lower Mainland together and generated an impressive, sustained community opposition to this project, both on the ground and in the courts.

The project’s downfall is a testament to what can be achieved when community members come together to protect the places where they live, work, and play.

In February 2019, after a gritty, years-long fight, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority decided to pull the permit for the Fraser-Surrey Docks coal project.

Only a couple months later, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled Ecojustice’s ongoing legal case moot. Here’s a look at what these outcomes mean, both in a legal sense and for the community: MORE