Taxpayer $ should have funded Canadians and not a sales pitch

22 Jan, 2014, 14:51 ET from Natural Resources Union

OTTAWA, Jan. 22, 2014 /CNW/ - In 2012, at a time when programs and services that directly benefitted Canadians were being cut, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) used $4 million from a "special reserve fund" to pay for commercials to sell Canadians on the proposed budget.

The advertising campaign's goal was to convince the public of the opportunities to capitalize on Canada's natural resources and that the budget would create jobs.  At the same time, programs that directly assisted Canadians, such as the ecoEnergy retrofit, and about 500 jobs within NRCan were eliminated.

"Programs that directly benefited you and me were slashed," said Michael Sargent, National President of Natural Resources Union (NRU).  "Environmental assessment programs and research libraries that ensured we were good stewards of our resources were terminated."

Sargent is also concerned about the existence of a "special reserve fund".  He questions how much is in there and what other government initiatives have been funded instead of directly supporting protection of Canada's natural resources.

"At the end of the day, the only ones benefitting are the large businesses determined to exploit Canada's resource potential in the interest of corporate financial gain."

Natural Resources Union represents 1160 employees of NRCan.

SOURCE Natural Resources Union