07/14/2015 12:32 EDT | Updated 07/14/2016 01:12 EDT

Public service union ad campaign criticizes Conservative program cuts

OTTAWA — The Public Service Alliance of Canada is spending $2.7 million on pre-election ads that target Conservative cuts to the bureaucracy.

The union says its "Vote to Stop the Cuts" campaign will include billboards, posters, radio segments and targeted online content, but it does not plan to air TV ads.

PSAC says government support for veterans, search and rescue, employment insurance, border security and food safety have been affected by the Tory belt-tightening efforts since Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to power in 2006.

The union, which represents more than 170,000 public sector employees, is the latest group to capitalize on the lack of rules governing pre-writ advertising.

Groups such as the conservative Working Canadians, left-learning Engage Canada and the now defunct HarperPAC have rolled out ads ahead of the official election campaign start, when Elections Canada rules kick in and sharply restrict third-party advertising.

PSAC says its members signalled they supported an awareness campaign at a national union convention this spring.

The Canadian Press