04 april 2012, 15h59

Cuts hit Canadian defence department

Picture John McLennan, Union of National Defence Employees
(CP PHOTO/Fred Chartrand)

The axe is beginning to fall on jobs across the public service, with the Defence Department among the first to report losses. The Union of National Defence Employees says around 1,100 civilian positions are being eliminated. The losses will be felt across the country, from military bases to reserve sites. Union president John MacLennan says everything from research and development to food services is on the chopping block. The department took a big hit in last week's federal budget and was told it will need to cut over $1.1 billion over the next three years. But the government has also committed itself to keeping the regular and reserve fighting force intact. Around 19,200 civil servants will lose their jobs over the next three years as a result of the budget, but unions say the cuts to the public service actually go much deeper. The Public Service Alliance of Canada says 9,700 positions have already been lost as a result of a budget freeze in 2010 and there are still 6,300 jobs that will be cut as a result of the 2007-2010 spending reviews.

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