Feds dish out $406 million in bonuses in 2023

Author: Ryan Thorpe 2024/05/30

The Trudeau government rubberstamped more than $406 million in bonuses to federal departments and Crown corporations during the last fiscal year, according to government records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. 

“Bonuses are for when you do a good job, they shouldn’t be handed out like participation ribbons,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “Taxpayers can’t afford to bankroll big bonus cheques each and every year for highly-paid government executives.” 

Bureaucrats working in federal departments and agencies took home $210,784,269 in taxpayer-funded bonuses in 2023-24. Meanwhile, bureaucrats working in federal Crown corporations took $195,637,952 in bonuses. 

All told, the federal government dished out $406,422,221 in bonuses last year.

This pushes total bonuses for bureaucrats working in federal departments to more than $1.5 billion since 2015. 

About 90 per cent of federal government executives take a bonus each year, according to records obtained by the CTF.

“Less than 50 per cent of [performance] targets are consistently met within the same year,” according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the government’s independent, non-partisan budget watchdog. 

“In the real world, when you fail to do your job you might get a pink slip, not a big bonus cheque,” Terrazzano said. “The government needs to stop handing out these taxpayer-funded bonuses to failing government executives.”

The records detailing bonuses for 2023-24 were released in response to order paper questions submitted by Conservative member of Parliament Andrew Scheer (Regina-Qu’Appelle). The records break down both executive and non-executive bonuses. 

The Business Development Bank of Canada issued more bonuses than any other Crown corporation, with its bureaucrats taking home more than $59 million. 

The Department of Justice issued the most bonuses among federal departments and agencies, with its bureaucrats taking home more than $18 million. 

Top-5 Crown corporations

Total bonuses

Executives who got a bonus

Business Development Bank of Canada



Export Development Canada



Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.



Canadian Broadcasting Corporation



VIA Rail




Top-5 federal departments

Total bonuses

Executives who got a bonus

Department of Justice



Canada Revenue Agency



Employment & Social Development Canada



Global Affairs Canada



Superintendent of Financial Institutions



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Franco Terrazzano
Federal Director at
Canadian Taxpayers

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