Workers rally in St. John's to protest public service cuts
About 100 federal government employees from across Atlantic Canada held a rally on the steps of St. John's City Hall on Friday to protest government cuts to the public service.
The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, which represents 55,000 workers across the country, organized the event.
Debi Daviau, president and CEO of the institute, said while the impact on employment may have been minimal, there are larger issues at stake for the group.
"It's not just about loss of employment. In fact, not very many of our members lost their jobs, we were able to find placements elsewhere for them. It's really about being unable to deliver on their mandate," said Daviau.
"They're upset about the cancellation of some really essential programs like chemical management programs, and air quality programs, and waterway management … and all the kinds of things that affect all Canadians."
St. John's Mayor Dennis O'Keefe said the cuts from the Stephen Harper government are changing the Canadian economic landscape.
"What really drives me on this is the fact that it took so long to build a Canadian society that we know and love and that has served us all so well for so many years," said O'Keefe.
"What we're seeing now is an attack on the very fabric of that society by destroying many of the services and buying into the philosophy that government interference should be minimal in economics."
The institute has notified government it would not be observing National Public Service Week, coming up later this month.