What about the role of public service in Canada?

Oct 16, 2015

It seems at times like this campaign will never end. Seventy- eight days of electioneering and here we finally are on the home stretch. Throughout this campaign, we have heard about the economy, infrastructure, taxes, the middle class and even citizenship. These are maybe all important issues to us, if not all national-election worthy. However, what about the role of public service in Canada?

Recently all three major federal parties have shared their vision for the public service. Each of the parties have at least stated that they believe in a strong and valued public service that works on behalf of Canadians. I’d like to share a few excerpts from each party’s statement on the public service.

In Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Open Letter to the Public Service, he states:

“Canadians are well-served by our world-class public service, and I have seen this first-hand as Prime Minister. During our time in Government, we have worked with you to ensure your efforts are focused on the things that matter most to Canadians, and to create a healthier workplace where good work is recognized, red tape is removed, and benefits meet real needs.”

In Justin Trudeau’s Open Letter to Canada’s Public Services, he states:

“I believe that in order to have a public service that is valued by Canadians, and a source of pride for its members, it must be valued by its government. That begins with – and necessitates – respecting the labour rights of public servants, and trusting in their ability to provide effective, independent, and professional services for Canadians.”

While Paul Dewar of the NDP has outlined six key points to:

“Revitalize and strengthen the public service capacity and restore the trust and respect employees need to do their jobs in the interest of service to all Canadians.” The reforms include a Public Appointments Commission to ensure meritorious appointments to boards and agencies; stronger protection for whistleblowers against retaliation and a code of conduct for ministers and their political staff as recommended by the Gomery Commission to stop political meddling in the work of public servants.

We all understand the importance of the relationship between the government and the public service. All three major parties seems to outwardly understand this as well. Regardless of what party becomes the government, we will still fulfill our duties and be there to serve Canadians.

AJC will be renewing its collective bargaining negotiations and will be moving forward to ensure that members’ rights are respected and the work they do, valued by government and Canadians.

As a reminder, the AJC is not endorsing any political party, however we do encourage you to get out the vote on the 19th of October.

Your President,

Len MacKay