Veterans Affairs employees worried by cuts
Employees at the head office of Veterans Affairs Canada in Charlottetown continue to be concerned about their jobs following Thursday's federal budget.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced cuts to the department will be minimal in the first year, but grow to a total of $36.3 million by 2014/15. Veterans Affairs says that amounts to a 1.1% cut. Flaherty also said more than 19,000 federal civil service positions across all government departments would be eliminated over the same time frame.
It's not known how many of those positions will be in Charlottetown.
"When they say the majority of them cuts are going to happen in Ottawa, I believe our head office falls under that umbrella," said Jody LaPierre, Public Service Alliance of Canada provincial director for P.E.I., who represents about 850 employees at Veterans Affairs on P.E.I.
Debi Buell, national vice-president of the Union of Veterans Affairs Employees, said the department is already cut to the bone, and any further cuts will result in a reduction in service to Canada's veterans.
"It's definitely going to affect service because you can only do so much," said Buell.
"You feel bad about that person waiting for months and months, maybe years before there's an actual decision made on their claim. That's bad."
Buell expects it will be a few weeks before the union has a better grip on exactly how many jobs will be lost in Charlottetown.
- This story previously reported total cuts to Veterans Affairs Canada would be $152 million in the budget. They are in fact $36.3 million.Apr 12, 2012 9:39 AM AT