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Bank of Canada showers executives with $3.5 million in bonuses in 2022

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Franco Terrazzano

The Bank of Canada lavished millions of dollars in bonuses on its executives last year amid seven interest rate hikes and the worst inflation crisis in four decades, according to access-to-information records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

All but two of the central bank’s 82 executives (97.5 per cent) received an “at-risk pay” bonus. Twenty-five received a “performance pay” bonus.

The average bonus among Bank of Canada executives last year was $43,700, for a total cost of more than $3.5 million.

“Executives at the Bank of Canada shouldn’t be showering themselves with big bonuses when Canadians can’t afford gas, groceries or mortgages,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “Most organizations don’t give 98 per cent of their executives bonuses when they have their worst year in four decades.”

Executive bonuses at the Bank of Canada total nearly $21 million since 2015. Since then, the size of the executive class at the Bank of Canada spiked by 18 per cent.

Table: Executive bonuses at Bank of Canada, 2015-2022

Year

Number of executives

Bonuses

2015

69

$683,794

2016

70

$550,064

2017

71

$2,572,915

2018

73

$2,923,613

2019

78

$3,261,123

2020

79

$3,594,681

2021

79

$3,785,902

2022

82

$3,588,324

Total

$20,960,416

The records provided by the Bank of Canada indicate its executives did not receive “at-risk” bonus pay in 2015 or 2016.

It was a bumpy year for the Bank of Canada in 2022.

The Bank of Canada’s mandate is to keep “an inflation target of two per cent inside a control range of one to three per cent.”

But inflation was 6.8 per cent in 2022, representing “a 40-year high, the largest increase since 1982,” according to Statistics Canada. The Bank of Canada also failed to meet its inflation target in 2021.

After Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem told Canadians in 2020 that interest rates would remain low for a “long time,” the central bank turned around and hiked interest rates seven times in 2022.

In 2022, Macklem admitted “we got some things wrong” and the deputy governor acknowledged “we haven’t managed to keep inflation at our target,” adding that Canada’s central bankers “should be held accountable.”

“Handing out big bonus cheques is an odd way to hold your organization accountable,” Terrazzano said. “Canadians have every right to be furious when they find out executives at their central bank were taking bonuses as inflation and interest rates soared.”

Speaking at an event organized by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in July 2022, Macklem told companies not to adjust wages for inflation, sparking outrage among labour leaders.

All told, bonuses at the Bank of Canada total about $55 million since 2020, according to separate access-to-information records obtained by the CTF.

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‘Really, Really Difficult’: Bureaucrats Worry Behind Closed Doors They’ll Be Sent Packing Under Trump

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From Heartland Daily News

“He’s going to get people in place that are more intelligent and are more loyal to him,” a park service employee said. “Now I think he could do a lot of damage.”

Government workers are reportedly in a state of panic over the prospect of former President Donald Trump winning another term in office, according to E&E News.

Bureaucrats up and down the federal hierarchy are concerned that a second Trump administration could cost them their jobs and put an end to liberal programs they worked to implement under President Joe Biden, E&E News  reported.  Trump has, if elected, pledged to implement reforms that would allow him to fire up to 50,000 civil servants at will, with the former president singling out workers who are incompetent, unnecessary or undermine his democratic mandate.

“The first rendition of the Trump administration was really, really difficult, and we saw a mass exodus of employees retiring,” a National Park Service employee told E&E News. “If we do have an administration shift, other employees will also reconsider their positions and move to the private sector. I don’t know what I’ll end up doing.”

Of the civil servants that didn’t exit during Trump’s first term, many worked internally to deliberately obstruct his agenda, according to Miles Taylor, who served as chief of staff in the Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2019 and admitted to engaging in such behavior. Bureaucrats are worried that Trump may seek to appoint administrators who agree with his agenda this time around.

“He’s going to get people in place that are more intelligent and are more loyal to him,” a park service employee said. “Now I think he could do a lot of damage.”

To replace large numbers of federal employees, Trump would reclassify them as Schedule F employees, allowing him to fire them at will. The Biden administration finalized a rule in April that would prevent their status from being changed involuntarily, however, allies of the former president have shrugged off the rule by pointing out that a Trump administration could simply reverse it, according to The New York Times.

Amid fear that Trump’s plans may come to fruition, bureaucrats are making moves to ensure the Biden administration’s policies are as hard to repeal as possible, a senior employee at the Interior Department told E&E News.

“The concern hasn’t been focused on who the Democratic nominee is as much as concerns about Trump winning and what that would mean,” they said. “From everyone’s perspective it is get as much done as possible. Also trying to bury into the agency programs [like environmental justice] so they can survive a Trump administration.”

Conservatives are increasingly optimistic about Trump’s chances of defeating Biden in November as the president lags behind Trump in the polls and the Democratic Party grapples with internal disputes regarding whether or not he should be their nominee.

“The mood is somber and incredulous,” one long-time employee of the Department of the Interior told E&E News. “The hope is we will not suffer through another term with the prior leadership, but the fear [is] that if we do, they will target employees they don’t like, make things up to justify whatever punishment they want and just cripple the good work we are doing.”

Staff at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), meanwhile, are also upset and agitated, the president of a union representing some of the agency’s employees told E&E News. “So many of our members lived through the absolutely disastrous first Trump administration and his attempted dismantling of EPA,” she said.

Originally published by The Daily Caller. Republished with permission.

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Here’s why your plane ticket is so expensive

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From the Fraser Institute

By Alex Whalen and Jake Fuss

While the strike by WestJet mechanics lasted only a few days, many Canadian air travellers faced long delays and cancelled flights. More broadly, according to the Canadian Transportation Agency, customer complaints have hit an all-time high.

Yet many dissatisfied travellers likely don’t realize that Ottawa heavily contributes to their frustrations. Let’s look at the various ways federal policies and laws make air travel worse in Canada.

First, federal laws insulate Canada’s airlines from competition. Foreign airlines are subject to highly restrictive  “cabotage” laws which, for example, dictate that foreign airlines cannot operate routes between Canadian cities. At the same time, foreign investors are forbidden from owning more than 49 per cent of Canadian airlines. By restricting international participation in the Canadian air travel market, these laws both deprive Canadian consumers of choice and insulate incumbent airlines from competition. When consumers have more choice, incumbents have a greater incentive to improve performance to keep pace with their competitors.

Second, a wide array of taxes and fees heavily influence the cost of airline tickets in Canada. Airport improvement fees, for example, average $32.20 per departing passenger at airports in Canada’s 10 largest markets. In contrast, airport improvement fees in the United States cannot exceed $4.50. And last year the Trudeau government increased the “air travellers security charge” by 32.85 per cent—this fee, which now ranges from $9.94 to $34.82 per flight, is higher in Canada than the U.S. across all flight categories. On the tax front, in addition to fuel taxes including the federal carbon tax, the federal excise tax on unleaded aviation gasoline in Canada is 10 cents per litre compared to 6.9 cents per litre in the U.S. And the U.S., unlike Canada, does not apply sales taxes to aviation fuel.

Third, air travel is a heavily regulated sector. Federal legislation generates thousands of provisions airlines must follow to operate legally in Canada. Of course, some regulation is necessary to ensure passenger safety, but each regulation adds administrative and compliance costs, which ultimately affect ticket prices. To lower the cost of air travel, the federal government should reduce the regulatory burden while maintaining safety standards.

Lastly, the ownership model of Canada’s airports results in a yearly transfer of rent to the federal government. The federal government used to own Canada’s national system of airports until they were transferred to private not-for-profit corporations in the early 1990s. However, these airports must still pay rent to the federal government—nearly half a billion dollars annually, according to the Canada Airports Council. As with the other examples listed above, these costs are ultimately passed on to consumers in the form of higher ticket prices.

While a precise estimate is difficult to obtain, various government policies, taxes and fees comprise a large share of the cost of each airline ticket sold in Canada. With complaints from travellers at all-time highs, the federal government should reduce the regulatory burden, increase competition, and lower fees and taxes. Policy reform for air travel in Canada is long overdue.

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