Layoff of core staff will hurt local economy and make soldiers pick up the slack

OTTAWA – Among the more than 19,000 public servants that will be given pink slips this week, about 1,100 of them will be key staff at the Department of National Defence, the NDP has learned. Cuts will be made across the country, including here in London, where 34 jobs will be eliminated at Wolseley Barracks.

Core civilian staff from all areas – from electricians, to communications staff, to clerks and other support personnel will be affected. These functions will now have to be performed by fewer staff, which will shift the burden to soldiers on base.

“The reality of these cuts means that soldiers will have to take on the jobs currently done by civilian personnel, forcing them to refocus their priorities and burdening them with extra work,” said Irene Mathyssen, MP for London-Fanshawe. “This will have a serious impact to operations on-base, and in our community.”

 Today’s announcement is only the first wave of cuts at DND, creating a staffing void that will have a generational effect. Cutting core staff will have dramatic effects on the backbone of operations for the department, and will linger for years to come.

 New Democrats have always been clear in our support of our troops and the civilian staff that run and maintain our military bases across the country. The Conservatives on the under hand would rather invest billions on jets that don't work, while failing to provide honest information to Canadians about the cost and procurement process.

The NDP is calling on the Conservatives to be fully transparent about the impact of the budget on DND, to be upfront about all of the staffing cuts to give personnel the exact details of how they are slashing jobs.