While an exorbitant number of workers in the private sector were deemed “non-essential,” lost their jobs, or took pay cuts over the course of COVID-19, thousands of federal government employees and members of Parliament received pay raises.

As showcased in the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s (CTF) annual Labour Day Reality Check report, 312,825 federal government employees received a pay raise. The number comes from exclusive documents obtained by the CTF through an access to information request.

In addition to the pay raises, the CTF’s key findings are:

  • There have been 395,900 private sector job losses vs. 149,500 new government jobs (all levels) since February 2020.
  • In 2020, 74,925 federal bureaucrats made more than $100,000. That number grew by 5,918 employees during the pandemic. That’s up from 43,424 in 2015.
  • All members of Parliament received two pay raises during the pandemic, ranging from $6,900 for a backbench MP to $13,800 for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
  • The federal government has no records of its employees ever receiving a pay cut.

“Canadians have experienced a tale of two pandemics: one full of private sector pain, the other full of bureaucrat pay increases,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Federal Director.

“We need politicians and bureaucrats to help shoulder the burden because it can’t just be struggling families and businesses forced to pay back the $1-trillion federal debt.”

The CTF proposes – as a means of improving accountability and transparency – that the federal government implement a “sunshine list” to disclose the salaries of its employees receiving more than $100,000 every year.

Through access to information requests, the CTF obtained data on the number of federal employees that would be included in said list.


“MPs pocketing two pay raises during the pandemic is a slap in the face to the millions of Canadians struggling through COVID-19,” said Terrazzano.

“At the very least, all party leaders should commit to reversing the pandemic politician pay raises.”

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard

Reporter (BC)

Reid Small is a BC Reporter for the Western Standard and West Coast Standard based in the Vancouver Bureau. He has worked as a freelance photojournalist and in independent media.

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