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I hope this guide helps you understand why it's so important to vote and to get involved in this election – and to vote for a government that truly reflects your concerns and interests as a federal employee.
On October 19, Canadian voters - including PIPSC members - will have an opportunity to set a new course, to renew our federal public service, and to rebuild public services for future generations.
On October 19, Your Vote Matters More Than Ever
This fall, Canadians – including some 317,000 federal public employees – will vote in Canada’s 42nd federal election. This election is important in many ways, not least because it is different from previous elections. It will be the first to occur in accordance with the Conservative government’s fixed-date election law, passed in 2007. It will be the first to occur under the Conservatives’ controversial, so-called Fair Elections Act, which among other things imposes strict new identification requirements that could disenfranchise tens of thousands of eligible voters (e.g., students, seniors, aboriginals). It will also be the first election since the voter-suppression robocalls scandal of 2011, which resulted in the conviction of former Conservative Party staffer Michael Sona, and earlier election spending scandals that have led most recently to the sentencing of a former Conservative MP and parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister, Dean Del Mastro. All told, 338 MPs will be elected in 2015, an increase of 30 more than the previous election.
It will also be the first election to occur since the current government announced in 2012 sweeping cuts to federal jobs, programs and services. It will be the first since the government’s notorious omnibus bills – Bill C-4 in 2013 and Bill C-59 in 2015 – removed, among other things, the right of unions to seek arbitration and to strike, and empowered the government to unilaterally eliminate sick leave banks and impose its own privately-run short-term disability plan.
This election matters in many ways to many of us. It matters to you. It matters to other Canadians. It matters to unions. That’s why at our AGM last year we took the unprecedented step of agreeing to get more active in educating our members and the public about what is at stake in this election.
We of course remain non-partisan. But changes since the 2011 federal election combined with those of longer duration have convinced us of the importance of using the upcoming election to better educate voters about the challenges both our members and all Canadians face due to these changes. That education begins with our members, who are often confronted during elections with doubts and concerns about their rights as federal employees as well as citizens.
This guide aims to inform you – and your family and friends – of your rights, of what’s at stake for PIPSC members in this election, but also what you can do about it and how to do it.
We’re often encouraged by one party or candidate or another to get out and vote. We’re less often shown why as both public employees and citizens it’s important to do so and how to make our votes count. I hope this guide helps you understand why it’s so important to vote and to get involved in this election – and to vote for a government that truly reflects your concerns and interests as a federal employee.
Together, we have the chance to undo the damage of recent years and to help rebuild the federal public service we, our children and future generations deserve.