COVID-19 has shone a light on a fundamental divide within Canada: the growing government bureaucracy and those forced to pay for it.
This contrast is illustrated by Statistics Canada’s latest jobs report. The private sector, including the self-employed, has shed 520,400 jobs since COVID-19 hit us, while the number of government jobs across the country has increased by 180,000.
Of those new government jobs, 52,900 are public administration bureaucrats.
These new government positions spur on a higher tax burden for many families saddled with pay cuts and job losses and for businesses that were ordered to shut down.
Unfortunately, this isn’t new. This bureaucrat surge follows years of increases.
“Ottawa’s public service has swelled by roughly 10,000 bureaucrats per year under Trudeau, to roughly 380,000 today,” wrote Postmedia reporter Jesse Snyder in May.
We just endured months of government lockdowns, so let’s do a thought experiment.
What does a gym owner who’s fighting to keep their business lights on need more: tax relief and red tape reductions, or more bureaucrat mouths to feed?
On top of the government job gains, Canadian taxpayers also have to pay for pay raises for politicians and thousands of bureaucrats during the pandemic.
Members of Parliament pocketed not one but two pay raises during COVID-19. The pay hikes range from $6,900 for a backbench MP to $13,800 for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Before these pay raises, Trudeau and his ministers were already within the top one per cent of Canadian income earners.
This is in stark contrast to politicians in New Zealand who quickly stood in solidarity with taxpayers.
“We acknowledge New Zealanders who are reliant on wage subsidies, taking pay cuts and losing their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “I can confirm that myself and government ministers and public service chief executives will take a 20 per cent pay cut for the next six months.”
This item is reprinted with permission from the Slave Lake, AB, Lakeside Leader. For the complete article, click HERE
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