The federal government has cut 10,980 jobs as part of its bid to balance the budget, Treasury Board president Tony Clement said Friday.
As part of the cuts, 7,500 positions were eliminated through attrition, by cutting vacant jobs or not replacing people who left willingly, Clement said in a news release.
"We said we would eliminate 19,200 positions within the federal government and we are doing what we promised to do," he said. "In just six months, we have already achieved more than half the reductions set out in the budget. A leaner, more affordable government is good for taxpayers and it's important in terms of our ability to return to balanced budgets."
Earlier this week, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the government was off by one year in its projected return to a balanced budget. Flaherty had said Canada would have a balanced budget by 2015-16, but a global economic slowdown means it will take until 2016-17. That's two years after the date Flaherty projected during the 2011 federal election.
New Democrat finance critic Peggy Nash says Canadians should demand the programs and services that their taxes pay for.
"I think they [the government] owe Canadians more information than they're giving them about the programs and services that they're planning to cut. What they're doing is, every time they're cutting jobs, they're affecting Canadians' ability to get services," Nash said.
Earlier Friday, Flaherty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper hinted in separate news conferences that there could be more cuts to come with the deficit up to $26.2 billion this year — $5.1 billion more than the government had projected.
"It could mean even more job losses and even more cuts to programs and services that Canadians count on," Nash said.
Clement's news release provides a list of departments and the number of positions eliminated.