…because we’re attracting slings and arrows from the other side. They can’t attack the truth of our message about the damage done to Canada by the Harper Conservatives. So instead they’re shooting at the messenger. But not very effectively.
Here, for example, is Lorrie Goldstein of the Toronto Sun:
“Harper’s Conservatives Are Bleeding Our Public Services: Vote to Stop the Cuts” is the theme of the campaign to be featured on “billboards, posters, radio ads and targeted web and social media content.”
Translated from union-speak, this means PSAC is alleging the feds are bleeding the country’s 170,000 federal public servants dry.
There’s lots more along that line. The Sun declined to print my short response, so here it is:
Suddenly the mystery of why Sun Media covers unions so horridly has been solved. Your union speak translation service is completely hopeless.
Somehow your editorialist translated our campaign against shuttering veterans support services, closing search and rescue bases, and cutting employment insurance benefits as being about employee wages.
When we say transport, food safety and environmental regulations are being gutted, you dismiss it as a ‘festival of indignation’. Someone needs to go back to translation school.
You got one thing right though. Our Vote to Stop the Cuts awareness raising campaign encourages people concerned about these issues—people who understand them a bit better than the Sun with its ‘how bad can things be, we’re still breathing’ message—to vote against candidates who’ve done this damage to their country.
Then we have the Sun’s Ryan Doyle:
Perhaps PSAC should speak to those who have spilled real blood for our nation, before making our Maple Leaf a casualty in its imaginary war.
And then there’s Howard Levitt in the National Post:
PSAC does not represent “Canadians.” …The PSAC’s concern is not a reduction in government services but cuts to their members’ jobs and benefits with the concomitant dues paid into the union’s coffers.
Of course we don’t “represent” Canadians—we’ve never claimed the contrary—but we are Canadians, and our members serve Canadians from coast to coast to coast. We know from firsthand experience, as Levitt should know, that cutbacks have resulted in lengthy benefit backlogs for unemployed Canadians, the loss of vital front-line services for veterans, and serious threats to our environment, just to give a few examples.
Can any of this be seriously denied?
Obviously not. So instead, our opponents are trying to shift the debate: from the effects of the cuts, to the people protesting those effects. And expect a lot more of this in the lead-up to the October 19 federal election.
It’s dishonest, in a word.
During our current campaign, we’re inviting those who support and benefit from quality public services to keep these cuts in mind when they vote. We’re proud of the work that our members do, helping to protect the quality of life that Canadians have every right to expect. But that quality of life has been diminished by the Harper government. As we’ve been saying for some time, everyone is affected—PSAC members and the general public, union members in general and non-union workers as well.
In the final analysis, this isn’t about the PSAC. It’s about Canada: the Canada we live in, the country we love. The Canada our children, and their children, will inherit. As citizens, we’re speaking out about that, and we’ll continue to do so. And so should everyone.