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Treasury Board President Stockwell Day announces cuts to federal agencies during a news conference in Ottawa on Monday, March 8, 2010.

Treasury Board President Stockwell Day is eliminating 245 positions from government boards and agencies.

He announced the cuts today, which result from a study of 2,700 positions in more than 200 federal organizations across 24 ministerial portfolios.

All of them are Governor in Council positions - the people in these jobs are appointed by the Governor-General with the advice of the Prime Minister and his cabinet. In some cases they are patronage appointments.

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Mr. Day said the size of agencies and boards will be reduced but service to the public will not.

"We have looked at these in each and every case to make sure that efficiency and service to the public is not affected negatively in any way. We have determined that is the case," Mr. Day said.

"This goes along with our overall approach of what we're doing in government to maximize our efficiencies," he said.

In the majority of cases - close to 90 per cent - the positions had already been vacant as the Treasury Board conducted its review.

The move will save about $1.2-million and is part of the government's belt-tightening exercise as it tries to deal with a budget huge deficit.

A document released along with Mr. Day's announcement details the cuts, including 12 positions from the Canadian Council on the Status of the Artist and six positions from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

The Tories have been under fire for their treatment of arts and culture in Canada.

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As well, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and Investment Committee has lost 11 of its 24 GIC positions. And eight of 26 GIC positions at the National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy have been cut.

Mr. Day has been characterized as "Dr. No" in his new role of Treasury Board President. It is his job to say no to his cabinet colleagues who want to spend on new programs or staff.

NDP critic Pat Martin, meanwhile, said he expected more from Mr. Day.

"Today was a bit of a non-event," said Mr. Martin, adding that he and his colleagues are "girding our loins for a full attack on public service."

He believes that the government will use the economic crisis as a "smokescreen" to live out their "neo-conservative dream of downsizing government."

(Photo: Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

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