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HALIFAX “Hundreds of public sector jobs are on the chopping block in the name of slaying a budget-deficit dragon thats more myth than reality.” Thats according to Betty Jean Sutherland, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Nova Scotia,

In his budget address, Finance Minister Neil LeBlanc, announced that 1,600 Nova Scotians will be losing their jobs. Yet this years budget dramatically underestimates the provinces projected economic growth and overestimates unemployment rates.

A consensus of five chartered banks estimate that Nova Scotias economy will grow by 2.7 per cent over the next fiscal year and 2.6 percent the year after. The Conservative Government estimates annual growth rates of 1.8 percent over the next two years.

“A one percent increase in the provinces growth rate represents the addition of thousands of jobs in this province,” says Roger Neeley, CUPE regional director for the Atlantic Region. “The Conservative Government is misleading the public with its unrealistic projections, projections that will affect the way public services are provided.”

Health care is going to feel the brunt of these government cuts. In this years budget, Health will be cut by $83 million and 600 support workers will end up losing their jobs.

“You cant get blood from a stone,” says Sutherland. “Our health care system is stretched to the limit. Frontline health care providers the licensed practical nurses, personal care workers and other related health care positions are targeted in this budget. As a result, Nova Scotians have to wait longer and travel further for the care they need.”

CUPE is Canadas largest union representing 480,000 workers.

For more information please contact:
Roger D. Neeley at (902) 455-4180
Betty Jean Sutherland at (902) 396-5429

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