Treasury Board President Anita Anand says no government ministry and agency will be left out of the process of cutting 5,000 public-service positions. 

Anand, who is responsible for much of the public service, says all ministers will be expected to participate in the cost-cutting plan, not just the biggest departments.

The 2024 budget, tabled Tuesday, says 5,000 positions will be cut through natural attrition, which is expected to save $4.2 billion over five years.

The main union representing federal workers is raising concerns.

Public Service Alliance of Canada president Chris Aylward said in a news release that given Canada's growing population, more public-sector workers are needed — for example, to prevent long waits at borders and airports. 

The most recent data published by the federal government say the core public service has 357,247 workers, which does not include the Armed Forces or the RCMP.

"We have seen a significant growth in the public service over the past number of years, specifically following the COVID-19 pandemic, when it was natural for us to have additional public servants in order to dispense with massive programs that we were putting in place," Anand said on her way into a caucus meeting on Wednesday.

"We are simply looking at ways in which we can save money, cut red tape and ensure that our taxpayer dollars are allocated towards our government's priorities."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2024.