Author Topic: Budget cuts will cost lives: PSAC  (Read 1382 times)

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Budget cuts will cost lives: PSAC
« on: March 22, 2012, 11:19:12 PM »
Budget cuts will cost lives: PSAC


Michael Blais, president of Canadian Veterans Advocacy, speaks at a Public Service Alliance of Canada press conference in Centre Block on Wednesday.


JESSICA SMITH
METRO OTTAWA
Published: March 22, 2012 2:30 a.m.
Last modified: March 22, 2012 2:35 a.m.


Canada?s largest public-sector union is warning deep cuts to the federal budget will result in contaminated food, suffering veterans and lives lost at sea.

Speakers at a Public Service Alliance of Canada press conference Wednesday described a range of perils to Canadians resulting from cuts. 

Marianne Hladun, a food inspector from Saskatoon, said smaller inspection budgets and the shift  inspection by industry puts Canadians at risk.

?This isn?t about me trying to save my job,? she said. ?This is about trying to save lives.?

Former food inspector Paul Caron recounted horror stories of food contaminated by toxic chemicals, meat with pathological defects and rats scurrying out of a shipment of coffee ?wide-eyed from all the caffeine.? 

Todd Broomfield, an Inuit hunter, told of his dramatic rescue off the coast of Labrador aided by the St. John?s Marine Rescue Sub-Centre, which the federal government has decided to close.

?Newfoundland and Labrador has a long coastline,? he said. ?It?s exposed, it?s rugged ? surely our government can afford to keep a rescue centre in St. John?s that provides such a valuable service.?

Michael Blais, president of Canadian Veterans Advocacy, said the growing number of modern-conflict vets are waiting too long for help for complex war-related disabilities. Budget cuts to Veteran?s Affairs lead to a longer wait, he said.

?The cries of veterans who have served in the killing fields of Rwanda, who have born witness to the horrific genocidal terror of the former Yugoslavia, who experienced the harsh blinding reality of Afghanistan ? are not being heard,? he said.
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