The election of a Conservative majority government should be cause for concern for public service workers and all Canadians who believe in the role of government in providing quality public services.

Stephen Harper has been given the responsibility of government for the coming four years. Given his actions while in a minority government, we are very concerned about his plans now that he has achieved a majority. PSAC celebrates the election of progressive candidates who will need to hold the government to account for its policies, particularly with regards to public services.

The New Democratic Party, with its historic win and official opposition status, must keep Harper to his word that he will not cut public services to Canadians or turn the clock back on equality. Newly elected MPs from the labour movement such as Nycole Turmel, the former National President of PSAC and MP-elect in Hull-Aylmer, bode well for a strong, principled opposition in the next Parliament.

Throughout the election campaign, PSAC reached out to its membership across the country and received very positive feedback on our priority issues. PSAC members will have to redouble our efforts and come together to confront attacks on the public service and the rights of our members.

The Conservative platform promised to reduce program spending by a significant amount but did little to explain where these savings would come from. Continued strategic reviews of departments and the proposed operational review of government program spending will no doubt have a significant impact on the quality and accessibility of public services enjoyed by all Canadians.

The reliance on attrition and efficiencies in the public sector to balance the budget will reduce the quality of the services provided by public service workers as they are called upon to provide the same service with less resources and staff.

PSAC will use all means at its disposal to enforce collective agreements and to protect its members from an erosion of their rights. We must all work together to ensure our quality public services and the workers that provide them remain an integral part of Canadian society and government.

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