National Post

How Ottawa cut 25,000 jobs, and the world survived
National Post

Tony Clement is better at his job than anyone gave him credit for, it appears. Tasked with chopping 20,000 jobs from the civil service, he may have overachieved. According to the Treasury Board, which Mr. Clement heads, the actual reduction since 2010 now tops 25,000.

The Globe and Mail, which reported the figures, noted that it equates to a 31% “overshoot.” A spokesperson told the paper that Mr. Clement had cut the required 20,000 jobs specified in the 2012 federal budget. The bonus reductions resulted from “other factors such as retirements and programs coming to an end.”

If 25,000 people lose their jobs and the Parliamentary Budget Office can’t spot the impact, what were those jobs doing in the first place? If NAV Canada had eliminated 25,000 air traffic controllers, you can bet someone would have noticed. Planes would be falling from the skies. If the borders had been denuded of patrol officers, you can bet word would have gotten around and we’d all be smuggling cheap goods back from the U.S. en masse. We might even notice if the foreign service had been shuttered, since a strike by diplomats last year created enough problems that Ottawa agreed to a better pay deal. Mr. Clement even posed for a selfie with the foreign service union’s boss.

But somehow 25,000 positions have been terminated and the planes keep flying, airports remain miserable and passports keep getting issued.

Les conservateurs ont supprimé 25 000 jobs de fonctionnaires, de vraies coupures puisque seulement 5 000 mises à pied viennent de départ à la retraite, et personne n’a pu détecter d’impacts négatifs dans les services à la population… Mon petit doigt me dit qu’on pourrait faire la même chose au Québec…