Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak pledged Friday to cut 100,000 public sector workers from Ontario’s workforce if his party won the June 12 election. What kind of impact will that have?
It would be the biggest two-year cut to the public service since at least 1981, the earliest date for which Statistics Canada publishes this data. The size of the public workforce would return to levels not seen since roughly 2006 and would drop nearly 9 per cent, according to an analysis by The Globe.
The data comes from Statistics Canada and includes full-time and part-time employees in all levels of provincial government, including health care and universities. Mr. Hudak says he would spare doctors and nurses, though other administrators in health care would face cuts.
Ontario’s public sector workers
1981-2012 (2013, 2014 and 2015 projected)
Compared to Ontario overall
Ontario’s public sector has grown over the years, but so has Ontario’s population. So how do they compare?
The province’s public sector has grown much faster than Ontario as a whole since 2000, increasing by 43 per cent over that time compared to just 15 per cent for Ontario overall. In describing their decision, Tories referenced returning the public workforce to 2009 levels, an apparent reference to the growth in the public workforce since then. According to numbers provided by the party, there were roughly 100,000 fewer public servants working in Ontario at that time.
Overall, provincial public employees from represented about 8.4 per cent of Ontario’s total population in 2012. This would fall to about 7.6 per cent under Hudak’s plan.