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Updated: Still looking for signs of efficiency

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Treasury Board President Stockwell Day this morning announced 265 government-in-council positions are being eliminated to save money and "operate with maximum efficiency."

According to Day 90 per cent of those positions are already vacant. That includes six assistant commissioners at the Canadian Grain Commission. The last time any of those positions were occupied was 2008.

A CGC spokesman said their functions have already been absorbed by others at the commission.

One has to wonder how eliminating positions that have been empty for nearly two years saves any money . . .

But one also has to wonder how efficient government is operating when four phone calls and emails later I still haven’t been able to get an answer about the 15 positions on the advisory committee of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Commission, all of which are being eliminated.

I called FCM first and was told they had been instructed to direct calls to communications officer at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Winnipeg.

He directed me to call Day’s spokeswoman in Ottawa. She just called back moments ago to tell me she couldn’t possibly answer specific questions about all 245 positions and that I should contact the department directly.

Been there, done that already.


Finally it appears a spokesperson in Fisheries Minister Gail Shea’s office may be able to answer my questions. His response to my email was rapid and I remain hopeful.

But this announcement so far isn’t demonstrating government efficiency in the least.

Update: True to his quick response to my first e-mail. John Morris from Gail Shea’s office already called back. He informed me that the positions at the FFCM advisory committee have never been filled. He also apologized for the runaround even though it wasn’t his fault. That was probably the most efficient thing about this whole process.
Yeesh.
 

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About Mia Rabson

Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.

Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.

She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.

Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.

Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.

In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.

She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.

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