Budget 2018: A Glimmer of Hope, Says PIPSC

For Immediate Release

Ottawa, February 27, 2018 – “Our members have overwhelmingly said that Phoenix cannot be fixed and must be nixed; $16M to investigate an alternative to the Phoenix system is a good first step,” said Debi Daviau, President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC).  “It is vital that any new system is built and operated by the government’s own computer systems professionals.” 

Today’s budget also saw a significant investment in the existing, problem-plagued pay system. The Institute remains concerned that the bulk of these funds may be going to Phoenix developer IBM. PIPSC is also disappointed that no funds were allocated to much-needed compensation or damages for the victims of Phoenix. 

“In fact, despite spectacular failures such as the Phoenix fiasco, which has left Canadian taxpayers on the hook for close to a billion dollars, this budget remains silent on reducing costly and wasteful outsourcing,” continued Daviau. “Though the Budget makes a number of commitments to ambitious digital service delivery improvements, for the sake of all Canadians we hope the government has learned from its failed IT projects of the past.  It must engage public servants, not consultants, in their design, testing and implementation.”

While the federal government’s latest Budget represents a step forward for gender equality in Canada by including commitments for pay equity and improved parental leave, and provides some much-needed investment in public science,  notably at the National Research Council, it still falls short of the Institute’s expectations on a number of fronts, such as reducing the government’s costly and wasteful reliance on outsourcing and ensuring tax fairness for all Canadians.

Major strides have been made to improve scientific integrity in Canada’s public service over the past few years, and this Budget continues with the government’s efforts to restore the scientific capacity within federal departments that was so badly damaged over the last decade. “The government is committing more funds to the National Research Council and investing in Canada’s scientific community,” said Daviau. “This is exactly what we have been looking for from the government for years. It‘s good for science and it’s good for Canada.”

Years of budget cuts have left our tax system in dire need of major investment. “While crackdowns on tax evasion and tax avoidance are positive steps forward, without long-term, sustained investment, the government will lack the resources to make a fairer tax system,” concluded Daviau.  

PIPSC represents some 55,000 public-sector scientists and other professionals across the country, most of them employed by the federal government.

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For further information:

Johanne Fillion (613) 228-6310 ext 2303 (office) or (613) 883-4900 (cell.)