Federal workers received more bonuses, met ‘less than half’ of performance outcomes

The Trudeau government rewarded federal departments and Crown corporations with $406 million in bonuses last fiscal year, according to records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).

Federal workers received more bonuses, met ‘less than half’ of performance outcomes
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Federal workers received lavish bonuses last year despite failing to meet performance targets, new records show.

The Trudeau government rewarded federal departments and Crown corporations with $406 million in bonuses last fiscal year, revealed government documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).

Meanwhile, the Budgetary Officer said “less than 50% of [performance] targets are consistently met within the same year.”

Nearly 90% of federal executives receive a yearly bonus. 

“In the real world, when you fail to do your job you might get a pink slip, not a big bonus cheque,” CTF Federal Director Franco Terrazzano said. “Bonuses are for when you do a good job; they shouldn’t be handed out like participation ribbons.”

Federal departments and agencies received bonuses worth $210.8 million last year, while Crown corporations pocketed $195.6 million in bonuses, according to the Taxpayers Federation.

Since the Trudeau government first formed government in 2015, taxpayer-funded bonuses for the federal public service have exceeded $1.5 billion.

“Taxpayers can’t afford to bankroll big bonus cheques each and every year for highly paid government executives,” Terrazzano said. “The government needs to stop handing out these taxpayer-funded bonuses to failing government executives.”

Among Crown corporations, the Bank of Canada handed out more than $59 million in bonuses to all its executives. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the CBC also gave out bonuses to all their executives for $27.4 million and $14.9 million, respectively.

The central bank has incurred $5.749 billion in comprehensive losses for the twelve-month period ending on December 31, 2023. The bank tabled $705 million in losses the year prior—the first time in its 88-year history.

The key interest rate currently holds at 5%.

Moreover, members of Parliament were earlier informed that a tax holiday for home builders will not reverse further slowdowns in construction.

Housing Minister Sean Fraser learned his target of 4 million new homes by 2031 is not feasible.

Meanwhile, the Forum for Research and Policy in Communications (FRPC) analyzed the CBC's annual reports from 1937 to 2019. They uncovered significant “inconsistencies in [the] presentation” of its data, which made it difficult to track the broadcaster's funding and performance.

The annual reports provide “little objective information” about the fulfillment of its mandate, the report reads, providing “so little consistent historical financial information” that Parliament's support for its operations “cannot be easily assessed.”

Among federal departments and agencies, the Department of Justice distributed $18.9 million in executive bonuses to 97% of senior bureaucrats.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) dished out another $18 million in bonuses to 97% of its executives.

Employment & Social Development Canada ($12.9 million) Global Affairs Canada and Superintendent of Financial Institutions ($12.5 million each) received the next most lavish bonuses.

“Welcome to Ottawa, where failure is rewarded with taxpayer-funded bonuses,” Terrazzano said.

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  • By Tamara Ugolini

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