Bonus millions for federal public servants
OTTAWA | Federal public service leaders received more than $190 million in performance bonuses in 2021-2022, including those at Passport Canada where wait times are rife.
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This is what we learn from reading written responses tabled in Parliament, in response to questions from Conservative MP Kelly McCauley.
The member for Edmonton West, who has been tracking the bonuses paid to civil servants for months, said he was “disgusted” by these figures which are being revealed, while more and more Canadians are suffering from galloping inflation.
Did not achieve objectives
For him, nothing justifies the distribution of public money in performance bonuses given the poor services offered to the public.
Only three federal departments and agencies achieved 100% of their targets in 2021-22: the Canadian Space Agency, the Copyright Board of Canada, and the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada. But they are among those who paid the least in bonuses.
In comparison, an overwhelming majority of departments have not achieved even 50% of their annual targets.
Consequently, Mr. McCauley believes that “the government rewards public servants for their failures”.
“Does the Minister believe that failing to issue passports on time 81% of the time deserves a performance bonus? he asked the minister responsible for Passport Canada, Karina Gould, in May.
Throughout the winter, spring and summer, hundreds of Canadians had to wait for hours, sometimes in the snow and cold, to obtain a passport.
While it takes two weeks to obtain this essential document, Passport Canada says it currently takes no less than nearly 17.
The bonuses are raining down
But this did not prevent Employment and Social Development Canada, which manages Passport Canada, as well as employment insurance and the Canada Pension Plan, from distributing $ 10.9 million in premiums in 2021-2022.
Ninety-one percent of the executives of this ministry, or 597 people, were rewarded, while they barely achieved 40% of their objectives.
This department thus ranks third among those who have most rewarded their leaders, behind the Canada Revenue Agency, which paid 15.8 million in bonuses.
Justice Canada was the most generous of all with a total of $17.9 million distributed.
In the entire federal state apparatus, 89% of executives, or 7,752 people, received a bonus. On the other hand, barely 3% of civil servants at lower levels, or 8,317 people, were rewarded.
« There are a lot of federal public servants who work hard, but they are not the ones who are being rewarded, » said Mr. McCauley. These are the executives who work from home and provide no direct service to Canadians. »
A total of $190.7 million in bonuses was distributed, which is 11% more than in 2020-21, when $171 million in bonuses were paid out.