McKinsey dodges accountability for questionable Canadian contracts funded by taxpayers

McKinsey & Company has received $116.8 million in taxpayer-funded contracts from the Trudeau Liberals since 2015. Over the past decade, the Department of National Defence (DND) has given the consulting firm $30 million.

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Last March, then-Defence Minister Anita Anand dismissed objections to McKinsey & Company receiving $116.8 million in taxpayer-funded contracts since 2015 — 10% of all its Canadian contracts.

Over the past decade, the Department of National Defence (DND) has given the consulting firm $30 million. Between March 2021 and late 2022, their contracts totaled at least $62 million, revealed the House of Commons.

The company's work was "not a matter of state secrets," said Anand, clarifying they worked primarily on improving their human resource management.

They helped to facilitate ‘culture-change’ efforts within the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and integrate digital technology into the long-term objectives of the Royal Canadian Navy, among other matters.

The Trudeau Liberals' growing reliance on outsourcing has earned the ire of taxpayers and federal workers alike.

Deloitte, Ernst and Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers were paid a combined total of about $338 million in 2020/21 and $354 million in 2021/22, according to a Carleton University analysis.

Anand said she respected the taxpayer dollars allocated in these contracts, claiming McKinsey operatives had ‘special skills’ not readily available in the federal service. 

"I have no reason to believe that those contracts have been unethical," the minister said of her department's contracts with McKinsey. "They have been executed in large measure, all except one of them."

However, Anand, now Treasury Board President, slashed the DND’s budget by $211.1 million last November in a bid to cut outsourcing costs — the largest cut among all ministries.

"We aren’t reducing the spending on our armed forces operations," she claimed. "This is asking government departments to look at their budgets and see where there is unnecessary spending."

The budget cut reflects the total "savings" outlined in Budget 2023, as part of an interim plan to reduce travel and consulting fees by $15.4 billion over the next five years.

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