More than 45,000 federal workers jumped to six-figure pay during the pandemic

More than 45,000 more federal bureaucrats have received six-figure salaries than before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).

A total of 114,433 federal government employees received salaries of more than $100,000 in 2021. The number of federal government employees receiving more than $100,000 increased by 45,426 during the pandemic, according to requests from access to information filed by the CTF.

The CTF is now calling on Ottawa to develop a sunny list, which offers transparency to Canadian taxpayers by providing information on salaries, benefits and severance packages for public servants.

“We are not all in the same boat,” CTF Federal Director Franco Terrazzano said in an Aug. 10 statement. “It’s not fair to ask Canadians who have lost their jobs or taken a pay cut during the pandemic to pay higher taxes so the federal government can add thousands of well-paid bureaucrats.

Data provided by the CTF shows that the number of employees who would be included in a federal sun list, which discloses salaries of more than $100,000 a year, has increased from 43,424 employees in 2015 to 114,433 in 2021.

Currently, Prince Edward Island and Quebec are the only provincial governments that do not provide taxpayers with compensation disclosure lists.

Alberta’s 2021 Solar List revealed that the province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, received a $227,911 COVID-19 bounty that year, without the oversight of elected officials. Prime Minister Jason Kenney’s government is now taking steps to ensure that overtime pay is first approved by cabinet.

Meanwhile, 312,825 federal government employees received a pay raise during the pandemic, according to a freedom of information request filed by CTF. From March 2020 to March 2021, the federal government added 19,151 additional employees.

MPs agreed to three pay rises during the pandemic. Compared to pre-pandemic salaries, the increases ranged from an additional $10,600 for backbench MPs to a financial increase of $21,200 for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Taxpayers deserve to know that 45,000 more federal bureaucrats are earning six-figure salaries than before the pandemic,” Terrazzano said. “Taxpayers can’t afford the bloated bureaucracy and that means the government should stop hiring so many well-paid bureaucrats.”


Rachel Emmanuel covers federal and Alberta politics.