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Senator Pierrette Ringuette Re-introduces a Bill to Eliminate the Geographic Criteria of Eligibility for Public Service Jobs

Yesterday in the Senate, Senator Ringuette introduced Bill S-201, An Act to amend the Public Service Employment Act.  This bill intends to eliminate geographic criteria as a factor for eligibility in appointment processes. 


Presently, the Public Service Commission can set geographic criteria to determine eligibility to compete in external competitions for positions in the federal Public Service.  Senator Ringuette believes that Canadians must have the right to apply for a job in their Public Service no matter what region of the country they live in and no matter where the job is located.


“The current selection process is unfair and limits the access of all Canadians to jobs in the Public Service. This is unacceptable and incompatible with the mobility rights guaranteed by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  I believe wholeheartedly that all Canadians, in any province, have the right to earn a living and if qualified, have equal access to all Public Service Jobs,” said Senator Ringuette. 


Recently, the Public Service Commission announced steps in that direction but the recommendations still fall short of creating a National Area of Selection for all federal public jobs. The Senator pointed out that in the National Capital Region, which covers part of Ontario and Quebec, the population is about one million people, or just 0.3% of the Canadian population, and yet the Region’s residents have almost exclusive access to 60% of all jobs in the federal Public Service. 


This Bill also ensures that appointments to, and from within the public service are free from bureaucratic patronage.