[CHARLOTTETOWN, PE] — P.E.I. MP and National Revenue Minister Gail Shea countered claims that federal job losses will hurt P.E.I.’s economy in a report released Wednesday, pointing out her assertion that transfer payments to the province are at an all-time high.
In a written statement to The Guardian, Shea said her Conservative government’s economic measures, including workforce reductions, are being implemented to help get the country’s financial house in better order for Canadians.
Nonetheless transfer payments to P.E.I. remain stable, she said.
“Unlike the previous government, we will not cut transfers to our provincial partners that support services like health care and education. In fact, transfer payments are at an all-time high,” Shea wrote to The Guardian.
Shea said the job cuts being made will be managed “primarily through retirement and normal attrition.”
“These are difficult decisions,” she wrote.
“P.E.I. has the only federal department outside of the national capital region.With Veterans Affairs, we are making changes to deliver benefits and services in a more efficient manner.”
Shea was reacting to a report released Wednesday saying cuts to federal jobs are disproportionately affecting P.E.I. It showed the Island will lose 10 to 12 per cent of its federal workforce, compared to a 4.3 per cent reduction nationally. This will result in an economic loss of $60 million for P.E.I., the report stated.
It was commissioned by a working group made up of the the province, the city of Charlottetown and the two largest unions representing federal employees in P.E.I.