Cuts to public services

Recently, many Yukoners were greeted by an absurd giant squirrel. It handed out cards that read, "I propose eliminating the deficit no matter what the cost to our community.

Recently, many Yukoners were greeted by an absurd giant squirrel. It handed out cards that read, “I propose eliminating the deficit no matter what the cost to our community. Do you agree?”

The Public Service Alliance of Canada created the ridiculous rodent as part of its Third Choice Campaign.

It represents the absurdity of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cuts to public services in the name of deficit reduction.

Mr. Harper’s approach is akin to asking someone to starve their children to pay off their mortgage. Canadians deserve a better choice, a third choice.

Federal programs that Canadians depend upon to ensure health, safety, pensions and essential protective services are being pared back to a point of dysfunction.

According to The Cuts Behind the Curtain, an analysis by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, northerners may soon see as many as 300 jobs cut, leaving a skeleton workforce struggling to meet even basic needs.

At this point, details of Harper’s targets are hidden behind closed doors. But the government in power has left no doubt about the service reductions to come.

I urge Yukoners, regardless of political affiliation, to stand together in opposition to Mr. Harper’s plans.

This threat offers Yukon MP Ryan Leef an opportunity to defend the public services so essential to his constituents. We hope Mr. Leef can summon the courage to fight for a third choice that maintains the programs and services Yukoners depend upon, while supporting a strong, vibrant economy.

Steve Geick, president

Yukon Employees’ Union