Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Brunswick Government to Cut 4,500 Jobs over Three Years: Source: N.B. to Cut Jobs from Civil Service: Source

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Brunswick Government to Cut 4,500 Jobs over Three Years: Source: N.B. to Cut Jobs from Civil Service: Source

Article excerpt

FREDERICTON - The New Brunswick government plans to cut 4,500 jobs from the province's civil service over the next three years to tackle its deficit, a government source told The Canadian Press on Monday.

The source said Tuesday's provincial budget will outline the elimination of 1,500 jobs a year through attrition, which would reduce the size of the public service by five per cent at the end of the cuts.

The province's Progressive Conservative government has been searching for ways to streamline the delivery of government services since it was elected 18 months ago in an effort to cut spending and fulfil a campaign pledge to balance the budget by the end of its mandate in 2014.

Danny Legere, president of CUPE New Brunswick, said he was "shocked and disappointed" that job cuts will be announced in the budget.

"Government talked about cutting the fat but certainly 1,500 jobs every year for three years is far beyond that," he said.

"We're getting right down where the services are definitely going to be cut and going to have a significant impact on the daily lives of New Brunswickers."

In an interview earlier Monday, Premier David Alward said many people in the civil service are nearing retirement age, which allows the government to trim positions that aren't considered essential.

"We're committed to bringing New Brunswick's fiscal house in order and living within our means," he added.

The province faces a projected $471 million deficit for the 2011-12 fiscal year and its debt is expected to top $10 billion.

The source said the government also plans to put an airplane it owns up for sale. The plane has become a political lightning rod after the Opposition accused government members of using it inappropriately last year, something Alward has denied.

Liberal finance critic Donald Arseneault said he doesn't see how Alward can cut the jobs without reducing services. …

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