11/16/2012 03:15 EST | Updated 01/16/2013 05:12 EST

Government Job Cuts Canada: Close To 11,000 Public Service Positions Axed, Feds Say

OTTAWA - The federal government says 10,980 public service jobs have been cut since it introduced its last budget.

Roughly 7,500 of those were eliminated through attrition.

The March budget said 19,200 positions would be eliminated as part of the government's efforts to cut $5.2 billion in spending over three years.

"In just six months, we have already achieved more than half the reductions set out in the budget," Treasury Board President Tony Clement said in a statement.

"A leaner, more affordable government is good for taxpayers and it's important in terms of our ability to return to balanced budgets."

Public Safety is the hardest hit department, losing 3,273 jobs over the next three years, while the Finance Department is losing the fewest at 52, according to figures provided by Treasury Board.

Some public-sector workers demonstrated on Parliament Hill on Friday against the cuts.

"The government's relentless assault on the public service puts the health and security of Canadians at risk," Gary Corbett, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, said in a statement.

Earlier this month, the government tabled financial documents showing that most departments and agencies have already made millions in spending cuts, but the documents don't outline what programs or services have been eliminated.

The NDP's finance critic said it is frustrating for Canadians not to have a clear picture of what these cuts actually mean.

"And I have to ask myself why don't we have a clear picture?" said Peggy Nash.

"If they're proud of the decisions they are making, why not share the details with Canadians?"

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said earlier this week that the government's projected deficit this year will rise by about $5 billion to $26 billion and the budget won't be balanced until 2016-17, a year later than previously forecast.

Nash said given global economic uncertainties, she doesn't understand why cutting jobs is a good idea.

"It does slow the economy, but it also takes away programs and services that people pay taxes for," she said.

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