The Niagara Independent, April 21, 2023 – This week 155,000 federal public servants went out on strike for unrealistic wage increases and to further feather their nest of entitlements. For the many Canadians who are presently struggling through serious economic and standard of living challenges, the bureaucrats’ strike is incredibly tone deaf and out-of-touch with reality. It is an alternative universe of rationale that we find in Ottawa, and it has evolved as a result of more than seven years of a Prime Minister and his government pushing its brand of progressivism.
The federal strike is but the latest symptom of the rot brought about by the Trudeau Liberals’ progressivism, yet another disturbing indicator that something has gone very wrong in our country.
Given Canada’s current economic climate, the federal workers’ wage demands are unreasonable: a 13.5 per cent raise over three years and, for the 35,000 workers at Canada Revenue Agency, a hike of 30 per cent. The demands are also unreasonable when considering federal employees already receive a very sweet deal compared to the average pay of Johnny Canuck.
According to a recent Fraser Institute study, government workers today are paid 31.3 per cent higher compensation than private sector workers when factoring for bureaucrats’ higher wages, pensions plans, and bevy of workplace benefits.
In addition to the generous salary increases being sought, the federal workers are calling for greater workplace benefits – and this is the rub with reality. Throughout the pandemic years, the federal public sector enjoyed job security, regular paychecks, home from work arrangements (until April 2023), and most received yearly wage increases with managers receiving guaranteed bonuses. With this strike, the union and its members are looking to secure the following measures:
- make permanent the “work from home” emergency measures introduced during the pandemic
- reward shift premiums of an extra $2.50 per hour for employees who worked past 4 pm
- establish an education fund for laid-off members of up to $17,000
- grant four weeks’ paid holiday after four years’ service (reduced from the current seven-year period)
- provide five additional days paid holiday for Indigenous civil servants to pursue their “traditional Indigenous practices”
- pay an extra $1,500 a year wage premium to any civil servant using Indigenous languages
- extend the right to take unpaid leave on short notice for union meetings or activities
The union is also expecting the government to establish an “unconscious bias” training program for all managers and employees to exorcise latent racism within the civil service. It is also calling for the government to establish a union-administered Social Justice Fund at a cost to government (a.k.a. taxpayers) of one cent for every hour worked by every union employee. With 155,000 union members in this particular union, this would cost the government $12,500 a day, roughly $4.5 million annually. There are no details provided on the mission of the Social Justice Fund.
These demands and entitlements may seem surreal for many Canadians, but they have come to be expected in Ottawa’s alternative reality. From the PM on down through federal departments and agencies, there is an “enlightened,” progressive attitude in the Nation’s Capital offering up endless examples of virtual signaling and baseless pronouncements that are nonsensical and insulting to any critical thinker.
Consider the following selection of recent conclusions made by Canada’s senior bureaucrats:
Last week the country’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam issued a Public Health Office of Canada (PHO) report that identifies climate change as a pressing health issue. In the report the PHO declares white supremacy, capitalism, colonialism, and racism are the “systemic drivers of negative health outcomes” and that these overlap with the climate change challenges Canadians face. Therefore, the systemic drivers must be addressed in order to improve the health of Canadians.
Since this PHO garble was first revealed to the public by news source Blacklock’s Reporter, it has garnered attention in social media and with alternative news sources. Not surprisingly, legacy media has not reported on the PHO conclusions.
Perhaps even legacy media realized that Canadians outside the Ottawa bubble would find offense to its contents – unattributed quotes such as “It’s really about the foundations of our society, the capitalist system, the culture of extraction, and we need to change that” and “if we don’t address capitalism, if we don’t address colonialism, racism, the patriarchy etcetera we are going to tread water for a long time until we eventually drown.”
The PHO concludes that public health has a role in addressing climate change by contributing to Canada’s decolonization, justice, and equity.
Dr. Tam’s report is only the latest in a long list of outrageous reports and announcements from Ottawa.
- A Justice Canada report states that black men in Canada earn less because in the 18th century “Black people were seen as a source of cheap labour.” The report claims slavery and exploitation were part of the Canadian society as far back as 1600’s – before there was a nation Canada – and this is impacting blacks today.
- The Prime Minister launched Black History Month this February with the statement, “Canada has a history of anti-Black racism, and communities continue to face the impacts of systemic racism today. It is our collective responsibility to end it by listening, learning, and taking action.” Rather rich from Justin Trudeau, who enjoyed play acting in blackface and his banana-in-the-pants costumes.
- National Defence issued an Anti-Racism Toolkit that detailed how all Canadian Forces should examine the “ways that whiteness and white superiority become embedded in policies and processes.” The documentation stated, “Racism and discrimination still manifests in our workplaces through bias, privilege, policies and power dynamics. The defence team must put compassionate effort into practice to actively become an anti-racist organization.” (Who would want to sign up to such a self-flagellation organization?)
- A recent Canadian Heritage report stated that the country’s museums are too “colonial” and exhibits must be changed to educate Canadians on “climate change, equity, diversity and inclusion. The report criticized the existing institutions, “Museums are part of the colonial legacy,” and suggested they must evolve.
- The PM appointed Amira Elghawaby as the government’s Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia. As it is Elghawaby has a colourful history of making racially intolerant statements about Quebecers, conservative-minded people, and those of British descent. Her new role is to call out anti-Muslim sentiment found in those communities she knows so well.
- Four government departments – Employment and Social Development, Indigenous Services, Natural Resources, and Transport – concluded “A lack of access to menstrual products in men’s toilet rooms has raised concerns regarding washroom equity.” Therefore, all federally regulated workplaces (government buildings and places like airports) are now to install menstrual product dispensers and products in all men’s washrooms and disposal containers in every toilet stall.
- The Nova Scotia inquiry into the mass killings of 2020 issued a 3,000-page report concluding that this nightmare was a result of Canadians’ lack of progress in dealing with deeply ingrained and widespread violence against women. In the commission’s own words: “Gender-based, intimate partner, and family violence is an epidemic. Like the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a public health emergency that warrants a meaningful, whole of society response.” (Is this not an insult to the families and communities who were victim to a gunman and the inadequacies of the RCMP to protect them?)
This is all so remarkably appalling – one could not make this stuff up. Since 2015, it’s been a degenerative progressivism that permeates Ottawa.
With the picket lines bringing federal services to a halt over a 30 per cent pay hike for the country’s tax collectors, Canadians are now bearing witness to where this lunacy lands us.
Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com