Canada's controversial Infrastructure Bank is again in hot water after taxpayers paid bonuses to its six executives and many managers.
Despite the Commons transport committee suggesting Parliament close the Bank as a "costly failure," an Inquiry Of Ministry tabled in the Commons revealed the Bank paid $85,200 in bonuses to each executive and manager on staff.
"Much of the discussion throughout this study turned on the question of the Bank's efficiency with several witnesses expressing concern that projects were not flowing as quickly as expected," said the report The Canada Infrastructure Bank.
Infrastructure Minister Dominic LeBlanc rejected calls to close the Bank in a letter he penned last September 16 to the committee, reported Blacklock's Reporter. "In fact, no witnesses cited in the report called for the Canada Infrastructure Bank to be abolished."
Parliament launched the $35 billion Infrastructure Bank in 2017 in a Hail Mary attempt to attract private investment in building new public works.
The recommendation "does not reflect the current state of the Canada Infrastructure Bank nor its progress," he wrote, adding: The Toronto-based Bank "continues to make progress in advancing government priorities."
However, the Bank ignored a 2021 committee order passed unanimously 11-0 to disclose actual figures paid to individual executives.
"There are millions of dollars that have been paid to executives and to those who are no longer with the organization," New Democrat MP Taylor Bachrach earlier told the committee.
Last year, Conservative MP Eric Duncan asked, "What was the total amount paid out in bonuses, and how many and what percentage of officials above and below the executive level received bonuses?" Blacklock's Reporter said the MP received no explanation for the bonuses, worth one year's salary.
The tabled documents found $7,753,191 in bonuses issued to senior executives, managers and 85 other officials belonging to the Bank.
Before abruptly resigning on April 3, 2020, former Bank CEO Pierre Lavallée collected a generous $600,000 stipend, including outrageous bonuses up to 185%, totalling $1.1 million. At his resignation, the Bank went through three CEOs in 15 months.
Though federal public executives only achieved 48% of their performance goals last year, they still received $198 million in bonuses. During the COVID pandemic, federal workers received over half a billion dollars in bonuses between the 2019/20 and 2021/22 fiscal years.
According to an access to information request filed by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), 89% of federal executives received yearly bonuses during that period.
"Maybe, when taxpayers are struggling to pay for groceries, bureaucrats could give the bonuses a break," said CTF federal director Franco Terrazzano.
"If you don't meet half of your targets in the real world, you get shown the door, not handed a big fat bonus cheque," he told Rebel News. "The feds shouldn't be rewarding failure with bonuses."
Terrazzano said Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland would find more than $1 billion in savings in the Crown corporations by cancelling these bonuses.