A decision to lay off more than 90 unionized workers at a Burnaby care home for veterans has sparked a motion in Ottawa, calling for a parliamentary committee to review the move to contract out services.
Peter Stoffer, the NDP's Veterans Affairs critic, plans to present the motion next week to the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs in Parliament.
Burnaby's George Derby Centre recently decided to lay off more than 90 people at the end of April 2013 and contract out housekeeping, food and nutrition, laundry, clerical and activity staff. The move is expected to save money in order to provide more care hours for the aging residents. Roughly 300 veterans, most of whom suffer from dementia, live at George Derby.
Stoffer's motion would require the committee to examine the contracting out of services at George Derby.
"We owe our freedom to our veterans and yet, we are seeing a very clear deterioration in the quality of public services offered to veterans in the last few years," said Stoffer in a press release.
Burnaby-New Westminster MP Peter Julian is supporting Stoffer's motion.
"The NDP takes this contracting out very seriously. In so many other cases, contracting out has led to the deterioration of services. Between the federal and provincial governments, we are asking this contracting out to stop," he said in a press release. "We have seen this government deny veterans a decent funeral and cut back addiction and mental health services. It's our turn now to fight for our veterans and stop this. Canadian veterans have the right to access the quality services that they deserve."
The committee will debate and vote on the motion in the next two weeks.
George Derby's executive director Janice Mitchell was in a meeting and unavailable for immediate comment.