Federal job cuts predicted for N.L.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives believes 500 federal jobs will leave the province in the next few years.

A Halifax-based think-tank says the province will lose about 500 federal jobs

The Centre for Policy Alternatives says the job cuts mean federal services in the province won't be as good as they used to be. (CBC)

A think-tank based in Nova Scotia says Ottawa plans to slash thousands of federal jobs in Atlantic Canada.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) says about 4,000 federal jobs will leave the region in the next few years, with this province to be hit especially hard by government cuts.

The CCPA predicts more than 500 of these jobs will disappear from Newfoundland and Labrador by 2015.

Researcher Joanne Hussey says the DFO will be hit especially hard in N.L. CBC

The province has been losing federal jobs for decades, such as those at the maritime rescue sub centre in St. John's.

Policy analyst and researcher Joanne Hussey says some specific areas will see a significant impact from the cutbacks.

"The majority of the cuts are coming from three key areas — Veterans Affairs, the Department of National Defence and HRSTC," Hussey said, adding that "the DFO is being hit hard, as well, especially in Newfoundland and Labrador."

Other services will also be decreased, including law enforcement, with dozens of RCMP jobs expected to go.

"Who's going to be picking up the justice end of things, if there are going to be 56 losses here?" asked George Murphy, MHA for St. John's East.

The CCPA says federal services won't be as good as they used to be.

"Whether it's search and rescue, or cleaning up oil spills, or dealing with policy crisis," Hussey said, "you are going to see an increased lag time in terms of response."

The NDP is calling on the provincial government to fight.

"I'm really shocked that the provincial government isn't speaking out about it," said provincial NDP leader Lorraine Michael.

"I really think it is the responsibility of the premier to point out what is going to happen and fight for the people of the province."

The CCPA is calling on the government to stop cutting jobs, at least until there has been an open debate about cutting public services.

The people who did this research say it wasn't easy because they claim they were frustrated at every turn, with some government officials refusing to do interviews, and others who said they could only say positive things about their departments.

The researchers concluded it was all part of a deliberate effort by the Harper government to keep the public in the dark.