Harper fattens federal bureaucracy

Are these Big Government Conservatives?

When the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge, in a recent interview, asked Stephen Harper about the apparent growth in the size of government during his five years in office, the prime minister was defensive. Harper pointed to his expansion of the military and RCMP, along with priorities like food inspection. Beyond those narrow areas, he claimed, “if you look at the trend size of government with the recovery, it’s not growing in this country.” Now comes this straightforward story on the size of government. Leaving aside the military and the Mounties, the public service “swelled by 33,023 people, slightly more than 13 per cent, over five years.” How does that compare with the overall growth in the Canadian population? Under the Harper government, public service expansion has outstripped it by 7.8 per cent.

National Post




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Harper fattens federal bureaucracy

  1. Can someone remind me: is there anything Conservative about this particular Prime Minister? If he were a Liberal he'd probably have a majority on the same platform!

  2. Can someone remind me: is there anything Conservative about this particular Prime Minister? If he were a Liberal he'd probably have a majority on the same platform!

    • Since when is the 'Conservative' Party of Canada conservative?

      • As far as I can tell, since never.

  3. Since when is the 'Conservative' Party of Canada conservative?

  4. Oh come on, with a headline "Harper fattens federal bureaucracy" your just inviting the usual Harper-haters to spew their usual non-constuctive mud-slinging.

    Stimulus, defence fuelling federal public-service growth

    David Macdonald, a research associate at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, argued that if the two years of stimulus spending were not taken into account, the Harper government actually increased its spending at a lower rate than governments that preceded it.

    Some of that growth was through transfers to provinces, which includes money from Ottawa to help provinces pay for health care, education and other services. Although the boost occurred during Mr. Harper's watch, it was aided both by increased health transfers established under Mr. Martin and revised equalization payments established under Harper.
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/politics/

  5. Oh come on, with a headline "Harper fattens federal bureaucracy" your just inviting the usual Harper-haters to spew their usual non-constuctive mud-slinging.

    Stimulus, defence fuelling federal public-service growth

    David Macdonald, a research associate at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, argued that if the two years of stimulus spending were not taken into account, the Harper government actually increased its spending at a lower rate than governments that preceded it.

    Some of that growth was through transfers to provinces, which includes money from Ottawa to help provinces pay for health care, education and other services. Although the boost occurred during Mr. Harper's watch, it was aided both by increased health transfers established under Mr. Martin and revised equalization payments established under Harper.
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/politics/

    • Oh, noes! I must be one of those crazy conservative Harper haters!

      Gosh, I guess I should be happy he's only increased spending at a lower rate than the Liberals. I guess I should be cheering the move from a Liberal surplus to a Conservative structural deficit.

      That's exactly what I wanted when I voted for him – a slower Liberal! A centralist at half the pace! Deficits with a less human face!

      Great.

    • Nice ploy to divert our attention from the facts of the posting. It's not about growth in public expenditures which, while exorbitant in themselves, would include tenders awarded to contractors for infrastructure projects, as well as other transfers to individuals (e.g., EI) and businesses the private sector.

      This is, instead, about growth in the size of the public service itself, in terms of human resources (payroll). As a symptom of this growth, all you have to do is look at the "bloatage" in the PMO itself.

      It never ceases to amaze me how convoluted the rationalizations and cognitive dissonance can be among Harper sycophants, in their justification of his hypocrisy.

      But carry on, regardless.

      • So does the growth in the public service include all the communications staff posting anonymously on blogs? And do their sock-puppets get counted separately?

        • I'm hoping all those people are on the CPC's own payroll, in the sock puppet department. Public servants are supposed to speak truth to power, not write and distribute fiction.

  6. Oh, noes! I must be one of those crazy conservative Harper haters!

    Gosh, I guess I should be happy he's only increased spending at a lower rate than the Liberals. I guess I should be cheering the move from a Liberal surplus to a Conservative structural deficit.

    That's exactly what I wanted when I voted for him – a slower Liberal! A centralist at half the pace! Deficits with a less human face!

    Great.

  7. Nice ploy to divert our attention from the facts of the posting. It's not about growth in public expenditures which, while exorbitant in themselves, would include tenders awarded to contractors for infrastructure projects, as well as other transfers to individuals (e.g., EI) and businesses the private sector.

    This is, instead, about growth in the size of the public service itself, in terms of human resources (payroll). As a symptom of this growth, all you have to do is look at the "bloatage" in the PMO itself.

    It never ceases to amaze me how convoluted the rationalizations and cognitive dissonance can be among Harper sycophants, in their justification of his hypocrisy.

    But carry on, regardless.

  8. i dont know if someone in the conservative party is reading this but i hope they do.I used to be a member of the party i even gave money from time to time but i am no longer a member .Now i dont even think you'll get my vote.Why?Simple i would love to vote for a conservative party if we had one in this country,sorry guys but conservative in name only just isn't enough.

  9. i dont know if someone in the conservative party is reading this but i hope they do.I used to be a member of the party i even gave money from time to time but i am no longer a member .Now i dont even think you'll get my vote.Why?Simple i would love to vote for a conservative party if we had one in this country,sorry guys but conservative in name only just isn't enough.

    • I was thinking we needed a fiscally conservative party that is also socially progressive. I've come up with three potential names for them:

      (1) The Conservative Progressive Party of Canada
      (2) The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
      (3) The Liberal Party of Canada

      Cast your votes now!

  10. So does the growth in the public service include all the communications staff posting anonymously on blogs? And do their sock-puppets get counted separately?

  11. I'm hoping all those people are on the CPC's own payroll, in the sock puppet department. Public servants are supposed to speak truth to power, not write and distribute fiction.

  12. Harper needs to put his people to run the federal bureaucracy. He never trusted the civil servants which he thinks are there to serve the Liberals. This is a small price to pay to earn a majority government.

  13. Harper needs to put his people to run the federal bureaucracy. He never trusted the civil servants which he thinks are there to serve the Liberals. This is a small price to pay to earn a majority government.

    • He needs to put 33,000 of them? Does he even have that many friends on facebook?

  14. If Harper wins a majority, how many folks here think that we'd see this kind of spending continue? I mean, he has reduced taxes, he's got less money coming in, he has a deficit. He'll have to do something, right? I'd bet we'd see some significant cutting then. I think the Conservatives' small-government mantra is alive and well, it's just on hold for the time being.

  15. If Harper wins a majority, how many folks here think that we'd see this kind of spending continue? I mean, he has reduced taxes, he's got less money coming in, he has a deficit. He'll have to do something, right? I'd bet we'd see some significant cutting then. I think the Conservatives' small-government mantra is alive and well, it's just on hold for the time being.

    • Not if you look at the trend for Conservative leaders in the west.
      Over the past few decades Conservatives have cut revenue through tax cuts primarily to their supporters but continued to spend at or above the levels that were there when they gained power. The modern Conservative believes that they can spend without having to concern themselves with paying for their expenditure.
      They truly are a something for nothing crowd.
      Just look at the increased spending while cutting taxes for the rich in the US over Bushes reign that Republicans renewed recently.

    • Hint: Less social support != small-government.

  16. As far as I can tell, since never.

  17. I was thinking we needed a fiscally conservative party that is also socially progressive. I've come up with three potential names for them:

    (1) The Conservative Progressive Party of Canada
    (2) The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
    (3) The Liberal Party of Canada

    Cast your votes now!

  18. He needs to put 33,000 of them? Does he even have that many friends on facebook?

  19. Meh

    People focus too much on the number of people rather than what they actually do. You could have a "small government" with a lot of people in it.
    It's not about how big or small it is in size, it's about what it does.

    In that regard, the CPC fails on all fronts.

  20. Meh

    People focus too much on the number of people rather than what they actually do. You could have a "small government" with a lot of people in it.
    It's not about how big or small it is in size, it's about what it does.

    In that regard, the CPC fails on all fronts.

  21. Not if you look at the trend for Conservative leaders in the west.
    Over the past few decades Conservatives have cut revenue through tax cuts primarily to their supporters but continued to spend at or above the levels that were there when they gained power. The modern Conservative believes that they can spend without having to concern themselves with paying for their expenditure.
    They truly are a something for nothing crowd.
    Just look at the increased spending while cutting taxes for the rich in the US over Bushes reign that Republicans renewed recently.

  22. Hint: Less social support != small-government.

  23. Its not just the numbers of public servants but also the pay and benefits and the reclassifications. e.g. pensions now based on the best 5 years not 6.

    Should also be looking at the average pay vs. inflation over the past 10 years. It's the old hockey stick curve – laying on the ground blade up and relatively straight for some time, then things take off and you're on the blade poiunting to the sky.

  24. Its not just the numbers of public servants but also the pay and benefits and the reclassifications. e.g. pensions now based on the best 5 years not 6.

    Should also be looking at the average pay vs. inflation over the past 10 years. It's the old hockey stick curve – laying on the ground blade up and relatively straight for some time, then things take off and you're on the blade poiunting to the sky.

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