Hundreds of federal service employees in Atlantic Canada were notified Wednesday that their jobs are on the line, according to the union that represents them.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada told CBC News 236 notices went out on Wednesday to federal employees in about 15 government departments across the region.

The breakdown for each province is not yet clear, according to Jeannie Baldwin, the Atlantic Canada vice-president for the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

"It's about the information they give us and how they give us the information and then we have to go through other sources to find out exactly," she told CBC News.

"Or, what happens is that we get a call from the person who has been workforce adjusted to say, 'Hey listen, we just had a meeting.'"

The 236 notices are among more than 5,500 sent out to federal service employees across the country. Many of the jobs are located in Ottawa.

Notices in Atlantic Canada have gone to:

  • 44 workers at Veterans Affairs Canada.
  • 34 workers at Public Works and Government Services Canada.
  • 28 workers at Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
  • 27 workers at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
  • 22 workers at Health Canada.
  • 19 workers at the Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • 19 workers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
  • 18 workers at Environment Canada.
  • 6 workers at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.
  • 5 workers at the Parole Board of Canada.
  • 4 workers at Natural Resources Canada.
  • 4 workers at Industry Canada.
  • 1 worker at the Canadian International Development Agency.

The remaining five notices went to workers at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency, although it's unclear how many went to each department.

Wednesday's notices are in addition to dozens already announced across the region, affecting employees at the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Department of National Defence and CBC.

Baldwin said she's especially worried about the cuts to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency because the organization will no longer be checking the accuracy of food labels.

"We have people out there with heart disease, diabetics, so what this government is saying is that we're no longer going to provide that service," she said.

"If you want to know if the information is accurate on that product, then you have to go to the internet."

The federal government is aiming to eliminate 19,200 federal public service positions across the country, saving $5.2 billion annually, and employees are in the midst of learning whose jobs may be targeted.

Once someone receives a notice that their job is affected, a process kicks in that could see the person moved to another a position within the department or to a different department within the government. Not everyone who receives a notice will lose employment.