Liberals : Then and Now

BC NDP Newswire — January 16, 2002

THAT WAS THEN…
WHAT THE BC LIBERALS SAID ABOUT CUTS TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE

GORDON CAMPBELL:

“Our goal is not to go in and slash the public service.” (March 2001)

CHRISTY CLARK, BC Liberal Opposition spokesperson on the Public Service:

“That merit commissioner will be the cornerstone of restoring morale in the
public service. Making people feel that they are safe and that the people
around them deserve to have the job as much as they do.” (Sun, February 14,
2001)

“Government employees should be excited about the prospect of a BC Liberal
government coming in. When that happens, if it happens, their morale will go
up in the public service…”
PALMER: “No lay offs?”
“You know, I don’t think the government in BC–no, we’re not planning
massive lay offs in the civil service. Remember, most of the money that we
spend in the public service in BC is in health and education. We do not plan
cuts for either of those two areas at all. (Voice of the Province, February
14, 2001)

“There’s a huge phantom civil service out there that remains unaccounted.
So you’ve got the, the, the extra costs outside of the zero, zero, and two
that we know about, then when you add in all the costs of those contract
employees, who, many of whom have probably written their own severance
contracts, and goodness knows what that will cost, that is going to be a
huge price tag. (Christy Clark, Voice of the Province, March 22, 2000)

Clark did offer assurances that there will be no major cuts to the civil
service. “What you’ll see is probably the same number of employees just
doing a heck of a lot more productive things. We value the civil service
and we’re going to depend on civil servants to deliver on the promises and
commitments we’ve made to British Columbians. These things aren’t going to
be done by politicians alone.” (Times Colonist May 13, 2001)

JEFF brAY, MLA (Victoria-Beacon Hill)

Bray before the election:

“There’s not going to be massive job cuts. We need to manage the civil
service better, it’s not the issue of size.” (Times Colonist April 26,
2001)

Bray before the election:

Jeff Bray is a policy analyst, a civil servant himself, he says Liberal tax
cuts will work and there’s no need for the public sector to worry about job
losses: “It’s the NDP who go around creating that fear. But civil servants
generally understand that in fact it’s not about job cuts. So I’ve been
very clear, Gordon Campbell has been very clear, it’s not about cutting
jobs, it’s about managing the civil service. (CBC Canada Now close
captioned news May 2, 2001)

“At the top of Carole James’ priorities for Victoria-Beacon Hill is quality
of life, and for Jeff Bray, it’s the civil service.” Imagine what will
happen to his LOW priorities…(Victoria News ” May 2, 2001)

Bray during the 90-day Liberal honeymoon — still denying any cuts:
“The opposition members’ rhetoric about massive tax cuts to programs,
massive layoffs in the civil service and the putting of those who are in
need at great risk is fear mongering at its worst.” (Bray Budget response
speech Aug 2, 2001)

…There are concerns about job cuts. We’ve been very clear that this is not
a process of job cuts, that we in fact need a professional, non-partisan,
strong civil service, and we’re going to rely on that civil service. I said
before and I’ll say it again – and I’m sure my colleagues will agree with me
– that British Columbia is fortunate to have the best civil service in this
country today. (Bray Budget response speech Aug 2, 2001)

SHEILA ORR, MLA (Victoria-Hillside)

“I have made it very, very clear. We have no intention of going out and
firing the public service. It’s been really poor that the NDP have put out
that fear-mongering.” (Victoria News April 25, 2001)

JOHN WEISBECK, MLA (Okanagan East)

[Weisbeck] said his party favours cost-cutting targeted at middle management
and the big bureaucracies based in Victoria. “I get concerned when they
start releasing people at the working level. (Kelowna Daily Courier,
November 6, 1996)

And in Today’s Globe and Mail, an article about massive layoffs to the civil service