26 September 2023

CANADA: Union hits back at ‘right-wing’ attacks

Start the conversation

The President of Canada’s largest union representing Public Servants has taken aim at “right-wing columnists calling on Governments to send public sector workers to the unemployment lines until the COVID-19 outbreak is over”.

Mark Hancock (pictured), who heads the Canadian Union of Public Employees, said for most people the crisis had brought the importance of strong public services into sharp focus.

“However, some will never pass up an opportunity to attack public sector workers. Just last weekend, Premier [of Alberta] Jason Kenney issued pink slips to 26,000 education workers,” Mr Hancock said.

“This approach is flat-out wrong,” he said.

“No credible economist in Canada thinks putting people out of work during an emergency like this is helpful, and in a crisis that could last months, our Public Service workers are proving their value.”

He said Government workers were still on duty, risking their wellbeing to keep their communities safe, healthy, and running as close to normal as possible.

“I hear stories from across the country of everyday heroes doing their part — like the childcare workers in Toronto looking after kids so their parents can staff essential jobs, or municipal workers in rural New Brunswick running food, medication and other necessities to residents in need,” Mr Hancock said.

“The pandemic has exposed just how vital public services are to everyday life, as well as the cruelty of depriving people who depend on them.”

He said there were hundreds of thousands of workers who deserved support — “now, and when this crisis is over”.

Ottawa, 6 April 2020

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.