Dan Albas

Dan Albas

COLUMN: Changes within federal government employment

MP Dan Albas examines how federal employment has changed during the pandemic

From time to time I receive requests to cover specific topics in my weekly reports to local citizens.

Recently my Summerland office received a request from an individual wanting to know how much employment has changed within the federal government during the pandemic.

Although the data for the current year of 2021 is not available, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat has this information available for 2020 that in turn can be compared to 2019.

In 2020 the total number of full time equivalent employees working within the Public Service of Canada was 300,450. This is an increase of more than 12,000 positions since 2019 where the total number of full time equivalent positions was 287,983.

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How do today’s number compare to historical trends?

In 2010, the furthest date back this information is publicly posted there was 282,980 full time equivalent positions. Total full time equivalent positions in the public service does not include paid consultants.

Recently the Financial Post reported the growth of paid consultants in Ottawa.

As the Globe and Mail reported the “costs for ‘professional and special services’ are expected to hit $16.4 billion by 2022”.

In 2015, the year this current government came to power, this amount was $9.5 billion.

Before I close this week’s report, I would like to take a moment to share a few words that I believe the vast majority of citizens in the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola share.

We are collectively shocked, saddened and outraged at the discovery of an unmarked gravesite for 215 children at a former Indigenous residential school in Kamloops.

This discovery is difficult to put into words.

While we have had an emergency debate in Ottawa on this horrific discovery, the Prime Minister has also stated: “Canada will be there to support Indigenous communities as we discover the extent of this trauma and trying to give opportunities for families and communities to heal.”

For the record, I stand with the Prime Minister and as the Official Opposition we will be supporting the work of the government, working in partnerships with Indigenous communities, to help ensure that they receive support and accountability for this dark part of our past.

I would in particular ask that we all think of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation who made this deeply disturbing discovery. I would also ask that we remember many families in Indigenous communities throughout our region who had children in residential schools. Many did not return.

Please consider what we can do to support our local Indigenous communities who have been so deeply impacted by this loss.

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola.

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