Employment levels not static at DVA
The Minister of Veterans Affairs, Erin O’Toole dropped into Veterans Affairs headquarters in Charlottetown last week to re-announce sixty-one new hires with the aim of better supporting our veterans. That is welcome news for veterans and for Charlottetown. The deep cuts in the austerity budgets of this Conservative majority have been particularly hard on Islanders. The Minister also suggested that employment levels at Veterans’ Affairs in Charlottetown have remained ‘relatively static’. This is not true.
According to the Public Service Commission of Canada, just over 1,400 people worked for Veterans Affairs in P.E.I. in 2010, prior to the Conservative majority. By 2014, that number had fallen to 1,023 people. A 27% drop. And this was at a time when the overall civil service was being cut by about 5%. Make no mistake. Islanders and Veterans were dealt a disproportionately bad hand.
This was from a Minister, who refers to himself as “very much a data- and metric-driven minister.” There is little sense in his calling for better data if he is not truly willing to use it to inform his decision-making, let alone his talking points. The data is right. He should use it and stop treating Islanders as fools. Sean Casey MP for Charlottetown