Generous Justin: Trudeau hands out one million raises in four years

Author: Ryan Thorpe 2024/06/06

The Trudeau government rubberstamped more than one million pay raises to federal bureaucrats since 2020, according to access-to-information records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. 

The federal government gave 319,067 bureaucrats a raise in 2023. The government has consistently declined to disclose how much annual pay raises cost taxpayers. 

“Taxpayers deserve to know how much all these raises are costing us,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “It’s wrong for the government to hand out a million raises while taxpayers lost their jobs or struggled to afford ground beef and rent.”

The cost of the federal payroll hit $67 billion last year, a record high, representing a 68 per cent increase since 2016. 

Meanwhile, the size of the bureaucracy spiked by about 40 per cent since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took office, with more than 98,000 new employees being added to the federal payroll.

In 2020, the federal government issued 373,134 pay raises to bureaucrats, followed by 266,646 in 2021 and 162,263 in 2022. 

All told, the feds rubberstamped 1,121,110 pay raises since the beginning of 2020.

“What extra value have taxpayers received from the million raises Trudeau has given bureaucrats?” Terrazzano said. “You shouldn’t get a raise just because you show up to work twice a week with your shoes tied.” 

The raises come on top of lavish bonuses for federal bureaucrats. The government rubberstamped $406 million in bonuses in 2023 alone. 

Bureaucrats working in federal departments and agencies took home $210 million in bonuses last year, while bureaucrats working in federal Crown corporations took $195 million in bonuses. 

The government dished out more than $1.5 billion in bonuses to employees in federal departments since 2015, despite the fact that “less than 50 per cent of [performance] targets are consistently met within the same year,” according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer. 

The average compensation for each full-time federal employee is $125,300 when pay, pension, paid time off, shift premiums and other benefits are considered, according to the PBO. 

Meanwhile, the average annual salary among all full-time workers was less than $70,000 in 2023, according to data from Statistics Canada. 

Government employees also receive an “8.5 per cent wage premium, on average, over their private-sector counterparts,” according to a report from the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan think tank.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, the largest union representing federal bureaucrats, is currently fighting against a government order asking employees return to the office three days per week. 

Alex Silas, PSAC’s regional executive vice-president for the National Capital Region, said bureaucrats were “infuriated” by the government asking them to show up to their jobs in person three days per week.

“Taxpayers have zero sympathy for overpaid bureaucrats throwing a hissy fit about having to swap out their sweatpants for suits,” Terrazzano said. “Taxpayers are the ones who should be complaining after the feds hired tens of thousands of extra bureaucrats, paid out hundreds of thousands of raises and hundreds of millions in bonuses and still can't deliver good services.

“Trudeau needs to take some air out of his ballooning bloated bureaucracy.”

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Franco Terrazzano
Federal Director at
Canadian Taxpayers

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