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Baird defends curbing public service budgets

The federal budget is a two-part plan that “focuses like a laser” oncreating jobs while balancing the budget and constraining governmentspending, according to Ottawa West–Nepean MP John Baird.

The federal budget is a two-part plan that “focuses like a laser” on creating jobs while balancing the budget and constraining government spending, according to Ottawa West–Nepean MP John Baird.

The 2010 federal budget calls for the Economic Action Plan to continue as planned, but public service spending will be frozen, followed by an aggressive review of each department.

Ottawa Centre New Democrat MP Paul Dewar said this will be a double hit that will lead to fewer people providing fewer services for the public.

“This is a direct effort to take out of departments from the employment side,” said Dewar.

“They will go into debt to pay for corporate tax cuts, but when it comes to serving Canadians, they are going to cut.”

However, Baird said the budget was public-sector friendly and avoided draconian measures.

“It’s going to allow managers to manage. That’s a vote of confidence in our public service,” he said. “What it does do is require deputy ministers to accept the challenge and live within their means, with no cuts.”