Parks Canada hit with job ax

Another 3,800 civil servants were told Monday that their jobs are on the line.

OTTAWA — Another 3,800 civil servants were told Monday that their jobs are on the line.

Parks Canada took the biggest hit in the government’s third wave of notifications, with over 1,000 people told their jobs are at risk. More than 600 positions will be eliminated entirely.

“Canadians can expect fewer services and shorter seasons at national parks and historic sites,” said Doug Marshall, president of the Union of National Employees which represents about 3,000 Parks Canada workers.

Other departments facing job losses include Human Resources and Skills Development, Aboriginal Affairs, Library and Archives and Statistics Canada.

At Transport Canada, cuts are to the airport security oversight and marine security branches, said Christine Collins, national president of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees.

“While all of these cuts are happening in the name of savings, senior executives throughout government will receive hefty bonuses for doing these cuts,” she said.

Within Transport Canada alone, bonuses are worth $3 million, Collins said.

“Shame on them,” she said.

At Correctional Services Canada, the inmate grievance program has been closed, which creates dangerous conditions, said John Edmunds, president of the Union of Solicitor General Employees.

“When inmates complain and don’t get listened to, we have problems at our sites,” he said.

The news follows the Conservatives’ announcement of the closure of two prisons and a mental health facility.

The Conservative budget aims to eliminate 19,000 jobs in a bid to save $5.2 billion in the next three years.

Not all of the people whose jobs are on the chopping block will find themselves summarily unemployed; many will be able to apply for open positions elsewhere in government or be given the option to retire.

To date, close to 12,000 people in 40 departments and agencies have been notified their jobs are in danger, said John Gordon, the president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

He said some of the losses are effectively immediately, while others will come over the next year.

Union leaders are in Ottawa this week for a national conference and plan to stage a major rally on Parliament Hill on Tuesday.

“We have a majority government and we know they have the ability to pass their budget and go on with these cuts,” said Gordon.

“We want to make sure they don’t get away with closing things down quietly and then, when they come up for election in 2015, everybody’s forgotten.”

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