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Taxpayers release Naughty and Nice List

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Franco Terrazzano

CBC President and CEO Catherine Tait tops the Taxpayer Naughty List for announcing hundreds of layoffs weeks before Christmas without cancelling bonuses for executives.

“It takes a special type of Scrooge to lay off hundreds of employees weeks before the holidays and not be willing to give up your own bonus, but that’s exactly what taxpayers heard from CBC big shots,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “Meanwhile, Senator Pierre Dalphond delayed and watered-down carbon tax relief for farmers and now Santa’s furious because the bills for his candy cane farm and reindeer barn are through the chimney.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the Taxpayer Naughty List for removing the carbon tax from furnace oil for three years while leaving 97 per cent of Canadian families out in the cold. Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston also found himself in Santa’s bad books for taking more money from taxpayers through the sneaky income tax hike known as bracket creep.

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew made the Taxpayer Nice List for providing taxpayers with Santa-sized fuel and income tax relief. The Parliamentary Budget Officer also made Santa’s good books for improving accountability and transparency in Ottawa.

“‘Tis the season for giving, but Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek and Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi shouldn’t be giving their residents steep tax hikes while they give themselves a raise,” said Kris Sims, Alberta Director of the CTF. “The entire Alberta village of Ryley made Santa’s good books for using recall legislation to boot a big-spending politician.”

The 2023 Taxpayer Naughty and Nice List

The Naughty List (So…. long!)

CBC President & CEO Catherine Tait –  For clinging to executive bonuses

It takes a special type of Scrooge to announce hundreds of layoffs weeks before Christmas. Even worse, Tait isn’t willing to end the tens-of-millions of dollars in bonuses the CBC doled out in recent years. ‘Tis the season for giving… but giving out bonuses while firing hundreds of staffers is a sure-fire way to land yourself on Santa’s Naughty List!

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – For leaving 97 per cent of Canadians out in the cold

All Canadians need a warm home to celebrate during the holiday season. But Trudeau thinks only three per cent of Canadians need carbon tax relief this winter. Trudeau is removing the carbon tax from furnace oil while keeping the tax on for 97 per cent of Canadian families. Santa is stuffing the prime minister’s stocking with lumps of coal this year and Trudeau will be sure to carbon tax those lumps, too.

Senator Pierre Dalphond – For making Santa’s milk and cookies more expensive

The holiday season is a time to enjoy festive feasts with loved ones. But Senator Pierre Dalphond is making the holiday season more expensive by delaying and watering down a bill that would take the carbon tax off all farm fuels. Canadians worry they may have to cut back on the milk and cookies they leave out on Christmas eve. Unfortunately for Senator Dalphond, Santa is not a happy camper, because the bills for his candy cane farm and reindeer barn are going through the chimney.

Mayor of Quebec City Bruno Marchand and Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim – For hiking taxes on pets

It’s one thing to tax the air we breathe, the money we earn or the presents we buy. But taxing our pets … have you no heart, Mr. Grinch? Mayors Marchand and Sim are hiking the taxes families pay to own pets in Quebec City and Vancouver. Rumour has it Santa is launching a campaign to take the tax off his reindeer.

Federal Minister of Industry François-Philippe Champagne – For giving billions of dollars to multinational corporations

There’s only one place you’ll find yourself if you pull a reverse Robin Hood … Santa’s Naughty List! Champagne has been busy taking money from struggling taxpayers and giving billions of dollars to multinational corporations to build electric car battery plants. Champagne should take notes from
Santa and his little helpers. They’ve been building batteries and remote-control hot rods for decades, at no cost to taxpayers!

Mayor of Calgary Jyoti Gondek and Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi – For hiking taxes and their own pay

‘Tis the season for giving … and mayors Gondek and Sohi sure do love giving. They’re giving their residents steep property tax hikes. And they’re giving themselves pay raises. Calgary City Council and Edmonton city council both took a raise this year. More lumps of coal: both Gondek and Sohi take bigger salaries than the premier of Alberta.

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston – For his bracket creep income tax hike

Nothing makes Santa more upset than bracket creep. It’s a sneaky backdoor tax grab that allows politicians to use inflation to raise income taxes. Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston is using bracket creep to gouge taxpayers. And for that, Houston finds himself on Santa’s Naughty List this year.

University of Manitoba’s former law dean Jonathan Black-Branch – For racking up half-a-million in expenses

Black-Branch’s term was cut short after an internal investigation found he expensed upwards of $500,000 in public funds, including for personal dinners and drinks. Now that’s a lot of cookies and eggnog! There’s only one way for Black-Branch to get off the Naughty List: pay the money back.

The Nice List (So… short!)

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew – For the gift of tax relief

Kinew is giving Manitobans Santa-sized fuel and income tax relief in the New Year. He committed
to suspending the province’s fuel tax and providing significant income tax relief. And kudos to the previous Manitoba government who didn’t forget about the Tiny Tims. Thanks to the last budget, taxpayers earning less than $15,000 won’t pay any provincial income taxes.

Liberal MP Ken McDonald – For getting his constituents carbon tax relief

It takes a lot of courage to stand up for your convictions and constituents, and vote against your party leader. McDonald did just that when he voted to “repeal all carbon taxes.” Because of his advocacy, the feds took the carbon tax off furnace oil for three years. Santa just wishes Liberal MPs in other parts of Canada had McDonald’s courage and were willing to stick up for their constituents too.

Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux – For the gift of government accountability and transparency

Taxpayers always deserve the gift of transparency and accountability in Ottawa. And the PBO delivered it in droves in 2023. From showing the full cost of Trudeau’s two carbon taxes, to fact-checking Ottawa’s deficit numbers and analyzing tax plans, the PBO has been holding politicians accountable all year.

Alberta’s Village of Ryley – For recalling a big-spending mayor

Ryley is the first municipality in Canada to recall a city hall politician, former mayor Nik Lee. During Lee’s tenure, the village’s spending almost doubled from $1.7 million to $3 million in 2022. Lee also spent more than $5,000 on meetings without approval. When Lee refused to resign from council, residents of Ryley took matters into their own hands, launched a recall campaign and booted Lee. For their civic engagement and holding a big-spending politician accountable, all residents of Ryley land themselves on Santa’s Nice List this year!

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Economy

Trudeau’s bureaucrat hiring spree is out of control

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Franco Terrazzano

Bureaucrats love to think of themselves as “public servants,” but who is really serving who around here?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau added another 10,525 bureaucrats to the taxpayer payroll last year. Since becoming prime minister, Trudeau has added more than 108,000 new federal bureaucrats.

That’s a 42 per cent increase in the federal bureaucracy in less than a decade.

Ask yourself, are you getting 42 per cent better services from the federal government? Unless your paycheque comes from taxpayers, the answer is a big fat NO.

While Trudeau’s bureaucracy grew by 42 per cent, Canada’s population grew by 14 per cent.

That means there would be 72,491 fewer federal paper pushers had Trudeau kept growth in the bureaucracy in line with population growth.

It’s not just the size of the bureaucracy that’s ballooning – the cost is too.

The total cost of the federal payroll hit $67 billion last year, a record high. That’s a 68 per cent increase over 2016.

Trudeau gave federal bureaucrats more than one million pay raises in the last four years alone.

Since taking office, Trudeau also rubberstamped about $1.4 billion in taxpayer-funded bonuses to bureaucrats working in federal departments.

The bonuses were paid out despite the Parliamentary Budget Officer finding “less than 50 per cent of [performance] targets are consistently met.”

Then there’s the bonuses at failing Crown corporations.

CBC dished out $15 million in bonuses last year, while their President and CEO Catherine Tait whined about “chronic underfunding” and begged the government for more taxpayer cash. The CBC takes more than $1 billion from taxpayers every year.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation dished out $102 million in bonuses over the last four years, while Canadians couldn’t afford to buy a home. The bonuses rained down, despite the CMHC repeatedly claiming it’s “driven by one goal: housing affordability for all.”

The Bank of Canada dished out more than $60 million in bonuses over the last three years, even though it failed to do its one and only job: keep inflation low and around two per cent.

The average annual compensation for a full-time federal bureaucrat is $125,300, when pay, pension and perks are accounted for, according to the PBO.

There are now more than 110,000 federal bureaucrats taking home a six-figure base salary – an increase of 154 per cent since Trudeau took power.

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

Here’s why all this matters:

First, it’s an issue of fairness. The last few years have spelled hardship for Canadians who don’t work for the government, but do pay the bills.

Countless Canadians were sent to the ranks of the unemployed, lost their business and struggled to afford rising rents and costly grocery trips.

They’re paying higher taxes so more highly-paid bureaucrats can take bigger paycheques.

Second, more than half of the federal government’s day-to-day spending is consumed by the bureaucracy. That means any government that wants to fix the budget dumpster fire must shrink the bureaucracy.

Let’s recap:

Taxpayers paid for 108,000 new federal bureaucrats. Taxpayers paid for more than one million pay raises over the last four years. Taxpayers paid for more than $1 billion in bonuses.

And bureaucrats barely meet even half of their performance targets – targets they set for themselves.

It’s clear Trudeau’s bureaucratic bloat isn’t serving taxpayers. It’s time to find a pin and pop Ottawa’s ballooning bureaucracy.

This column was first published in the Western Standard on July 202, 2024.

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International

‘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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