Maybe it's because I'm not employed in that sector that I can think this way, but seriously, if there is the potential to "trim that much fat" without sacrificing too many services, I think we have no choice BUT to take a look at the whole picture.
The federal government has announced it's looking once again to cut some jobs – about 29,600 public sector jobs by the year 2015 to be more precise – as a way to save money. That is without question a lot of jobs and it would no doubt have a profound effect on both the economy and the many lives that stand to be altered but we're talking about the operation of a big business here that we're all involved in and all invested in. In the end, shouldn't we be doing what's best for Canada as a whole? Like with any business decisions have to be made and they aren't usually easy.
Heading into the budget, released in March, the government assured Canadians most of the savings will come from operations savings and not from front-line services to Canadians. Treasury Board President Tony Clement says departments are looking for "long-term savings, efficiencies and a rethinking of how they do business, from revamping business processes to changes in how they deliver services."
Budget documents also state that "savings are supposed to come from three streams: a refocus on programs the government provides, a reduction of red tape, and modernization and reduction of back-office systems." "Back-office," referring to internal services that all departments use, such as finance, human resources, information technology, communications and procurement.
Obviously, this is not a prospect any public servant (who reportedly on the average cost Canadian taxpayers about $100,000 each annually, including salary, benefits, pension and overhead) is going to welcome. I know I certainly wouldn't. They've got it made in the shade, but as taxpayers, isn't this an area we should be taking a closer look at? I mean the very idea that the government could even consider axing that many positions must mean at least some of them are dispensable or at least a bit of a luxury.
That said, the Conservative government HAS been criticized for a lack of transparency and for offering too few details about the spending, reductions and the like.
Somewhere there has to be a happy medium and if we don't take the time to find it, we may ALL end up losing in the end.