The latest round of federal job cuts will affect the protection of fish and their habitat in the Thunder Bay area.
Unions representing government workers say biologists with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are on the list of positions to be eliminated— as are jobs at the Canada Revenue Agency and Service Canada.
Two of the biologists are with the Habitat Management Group. Their union says they monitor, investigate, and enforce provisions of the Fisheries Act that protect fish and their habitat from the effects of harmful industrial, agricultural and land development activities.
A total of 34 government positions in Thunder Bay — and four more in Kenora — will be affected.
Thunder Bay job cuts include:
- 21 at Service Canada
- 3 at Fisheries and Oceans
- 10 at Canada Revenue Agency
Kenora job cuts include:
- 4 at Service Canada
Ryan Bystrom, the northwestern Ontario regional representative for the Public Service Alliance in Ontario, said the cuts affect everyone.
"If you needed a service from Service Canada, that's not gonna be there anymore, unless you wait on the phone for a really long time," he said. "That's what it's coming down to."
Bystrom said, since the budget was tabled, the jobs of 41 Thunder Bay PSAC members have been affected by cuts. These are in addition to other positions held by members of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada.
He said he wonders where people from outlying communities will get their services.
"These cuts are hurting services Canadians rely on," Bystrom said.
"You just can't make cuts like these without seriously compromising frontline services people need. Especially in the north we have been hit hard, and with the smaller communities in the north, it makes it that much more difficult for the required services to be dealt with."