“I want to extend my appreciation to all federal public servants who serve with dedication, professionalism and commitment to the interests of Canadians,” Harper said in a statement issued Sunday.

Yet the Conservative government is slashing the ranks of the civil service, cutting benefits for those still on the payroll and warning that it will go after cheats and laggards in the workforce.

“It’s easier to beat on poor people than it is to clean up my own party”