OTTAWA—The axe is beginning to fall on jobs across the public service, with the Department of Defence among the first to report losses.
The Union of National Defence Employees says around 1,100 civilian positions are being eliminated.
Union president John MacLennan says everything from research and development to food services is on the chopping block.
The Defence Department took a big hit in last week’s federal budget, and was told it will need to slash over $1.1 billion in spending over the next three years.
But the government has also committed to keeping the size of Canada’s regular and reserve fighting force intact.
The cuts at defence come a day after an auditor general’s report accused the department of misleading Parliament on the true multi-billion-dollar cost of new fighter jets.
About 19,200 civil servants are expected to lose their jobs in the aftermath of the federal budget, which seeks to save Ottawa $5.2 billion.
Some workers will be given the option of leaving on their own, while others could be reassigned to different posts.
While defence is taking the largest financial cut, no department is expected to be entirely immune from job losses.
One of the largest public sector unions is expected to hold a news conference today outlining the challenges ahead.