Where the Parties Stand on Public Service Issues

On August 10, PIPSC submitted the following questions to the leaders of all the major federal parties running in ridings across the country. The following grid summarizes their responses. (Despite repeated requests, we did not receive responses from the Conservative Party of Canada.)

To compare the parties’ detailed responses to each question, click on the corresponding cell, or click on the following links to view the complete PDFs of each party’s responses.

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP)

Liberal Party of Canada (LPC)

Green Party of Canada (GPC)

Questions Answers
1. Since 2007, federal government communications policies have made it more difficult for federal scientists to communicate freely and on a timely basis with members of the media and the public about their research. If elected, will you and your party commit to allow federal scientists to speak freely with media about their research, excluding of course research deemed too sensitive for reasons of national security? No Reply Yes Yes Yes
2. The integrity of the tax system has recently been called into question due to: a) significant budget cuts and staff restructuring at the Canada Revenue Agency, which have harmed the CRA’s ability to adequately investigate and recoup owed taxes from offshore tax havens, and b) widely published stories that suggest some charities that disagree with current government policies have been targeted by the government. Will your party commit to reinvest in adequate staff at CRA to properly target and investigate offshore tax cheats instead of charities? No Reply Yes Yes Yes
3. Over-reliance on contracted-out services in the federal government has resulted in the growth of what’s been called a “shadow public service” -- with possibly thousands of contract employees being granted access to confidential information related to the federal government and Canadians generally. Will you and your party commit to reducing government dependence on outsourcing, which currently costs Canadians $10 billion a year? No Reply Yes DNAQ* Yes
4. The loss of government scientific expertise and programs due to budget cuts has, according to a recent survey of federal scientists, already harmed our national response to urgent health, safety, environmental and climate-change concerns, as well as our international reputation as science leaders. Will your party reinvest in government science programs – specifically, government science aimed at fighting climate change, protecting the environment and ensuring Canadians’ health and safety as well as improving innovation? No Reply Yes Yes Yes
5. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned legislation in Saskatchewan prohibiting provincial employees from going on strike. In 2013, the federal government introduced similar and more sweeping labour laws affecting federal collective bargaining. In June, the government even gave itself the power to impose whatever terms and conditions of employment it chooses regarding sick leave and short-term disability, including cutting sick days and erasing banked sick days. Will your party overturn recent laws attacking free and fair collective bargaining, specifically contained in 2013’s omnibus budget bill C-4 and 2015’s omnibus budget bill C-59? No Reply Yes Yes Yes
6. The elimination of Statistics Canada’s mandatory long-form census in 2010 has led to a serious and widely-acknowledged erosion of federal, provincial and municipal governments’ abilities to adequately and accurately assess the public policy needs of Canadians. Will your party restore the mandatory long-form census? No Reply Yes Yes Yes
7. Canadians need and value public services. But public services cost money. How do you propose to fund for needed investment in federal public services in the future? No Reply Read Read Read

*Did not answer question