PSAC: Public Sector Workers Protest Cuts Across Canada

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Public sector workers across the country were out Saturday showing their support in response to ongoing government cuts. (Not pictured) (CP) | CP

Public sector workers across the country were out Saturday showing their support in response to ongoing government cuts.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada called it a National Day of Action to raise community awareness of how cuts will affect everyone.

New Brunswick PSAC protests were held in Saint John, Fredericton, Miramichi and Bouctouche.

Debbie Gray, national VP of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union, said she has seen 300 jobs disappear from Service Canada over three years.

"That's 300 people that do not process claims, that do not get your Canada pension out to you, that don't get out and get your EI cheques for you," said Gray.

In Nova Scotia, PSAC members planned to rally in front of Defence Minister Peter MacKay's constituency offices in New Glasgow and Antigonish, as well as Halifax.

MacKay issued a press release ahead of Saturday's events, saying PSAC was doing a "disservice to its members" by misrepresenting facts about cuts to civilian workers in the Department of National Defence.

MacKay also mentioned the jobs that will be created by the Halifax shipbuilding contracts.

Darlene Bembridge, New Brunswick director for PSAC Atlantic, called MacKay's response "government spin."

"Shipbuilding, yes, I believe it's important to Atlantic Canadians, but so is getting your CPP cheque," said Bembridge, "So is getting your income tax done, so is being a veteran and being able to obtain the services that you're entitled to."

Bembridge also notes the spinoff of the cuts for communities. She said laid-off workers will have enough trouble paying the bills and aren't likely to contribute to local economies.

On P.E.I., members planned a rally in Summerside, inviting people to sign there 10-metre long petition opposing government cuts.

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