Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker over the last few weeks, I have raised in this House, and every other public forum that I was able to, the issue of positions and the shift of government services out of the regions and communities and the subsequent inflation of headquarters' numbers.
I have heard many rumours in this creep in headquarters' positions over the last few months. I suppose the good news is, it is not a creep. The bad news is it is a big shift from regions to headquarters.
Mr. Speaker, I had the information from 1997 after the initial major deficit reductions took place. I wanted to see how they compared with the here and now. I requested information from the Financial Management Board Secretariat on the number of positions as of December 31, 1999.
The first report I received from the Financial Management Board Secretariat, straight off the much vaunted PeopleSoft system, showed a very dramatic picture, Mr. Speaker. There have been significant increases in headquarters' positions and a commensurate large decrease of positions in the communities and in the regions.
The Financial Management Board Secretariat had the departments re-check the numbers, massage them, work them, and they subsequently published their own geographic tracking document, the official one. This time, for some reason that I am not quite sure of yet, there was a small decrease of headquarters' positions of five percent. Of even more concern, Mr. Speaker, in spite of how the numbers were massaged, there was still a ten percent decrease of positions outside of headquarters.
Mr. Speaker, this tells me two things. First, that there is still a problem getting blue chip information out of the government, which I intend to talk about in a later statement. Further, and more importantly, the figures indicate to me a trend and a problem that we have to look at very seriously. Mr. Speaker, it is clear to me that after 1997, after the reductions to all of the government, there should have been a more significant decrease in headquarters' positions, due to division.
On the other hand, the regions should not have been affected by division. There should not be the same kind of erosion that we now see has taken place at ten percent. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.