National Newswatch

Number of top-level public servants rising under Trudeau

Aug 1 2018 — Emily Haws — The number of top-level federal public servants has gone up by more than 15 per cent in the last decade, with the sharpest increase in the last couple years under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to the Privy Council Office. In July 2008, there were 72 positions classified at the level of deputy minister or […]

NPR, Politico latest U.S. news outlets expanding northward, shaking up Canadian media environment

Jul 18 2018 — Emily Haws — Politico and National Public Radio’s announcements in the last month that they’re expanding northward are just the latest in an uptick in American media outlets pouring more resources into Canada and hoping for more Canadian revenue in return. But press gallery journalists say they aren’t concerned the increasing interest in Canada will harm their jobs, […]

Public servants ‘pissed’ over PCO clerk’s call to look at loosening rules to fire them

Jun 27 2018 — Emily Haws — If Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick wants to make it easier fire civil servants, he should start with the Phoenix pay system executives, say public sector unions ruffled by comments from the nation’s top bureaucrat that MPs should consider loosening the legislative rules around booting employees. Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) national president Chris […]

Clerk’s comments ‘not providing leadership’ to change public service culture, say opposition MPs

Jun 20 2018 — Emily Haws — Canada’s top bureaucrat should have accepted comments made by the auditor general in his scathing report on the Phoenix pay system, say opposition MPs, as his refusal undermines the credibility of the auditor general’s work and shows that the systemic cultural issues noted are alive and well in the bureaucracy’s upper ranks. Liberal MPs, meanwhile, […]

As bargaining restarts, largest federal union threatens to campaign against Liberals if talks go south

May 23 2018 — Emily Haws — The Public Service Alliance of Canada has set bargaining dates for groups representing the majority of its federal workers to negotiate their next contract, and newly minted national president Chris Aylward says if the government doesn’t fairly negotiate, it will be more ammunition for PSAC to use, should they campaign against the Liberals in 2019.

‘This is a high-stress job that takes years off people’s lives’: MPs reflect on their own well-being after Gord Brown’s death

May 9 2018 — Emily Haws — Conservative MP Tony Clement says his caucus colleague Gord Brown’s death is “just another indication that this is a high-stress job that takes years off people’s lives,” but isn’t sure MPs will meaningfully change their habits. “Every time someone passes away we say the same things to one another, you know, hug your family, strike […]

Phoenix problems compounded by Tories scrapping key back-pay feature, PSPC minister says

Mar 28 2018 — Emily Haws — Public servants frustrated over delays in receiving retroactive pay should direct their ire to the previous Conservative government, which scrapped crucial related parts of the Phoenix pay system project to save money, the procurement minister suggested to Senators last week. During a March 21 appearance before the Senate’s National Finance Committee, Carla Qualtrough (Delta, B.C.) […]

Feds shell out $250K to bureaucrats for Phoenix-related financial losses

Mar 21 2018 — Emily Haws — The government has doled out nearly $250,000 since September 2016 to cover financial losses public servants have incurred because of the Phoenix pay system, according to the Treasury Board, which unions say indicates the program is working well despite seemingly low engagement. From September 2016 to January 31, 2018, 1,452 claims have been processed government-wide, […]

Mulroney comes out ahead with nine Conservative caucus endorsements in Ontario PC leadership race

Feb 21 2018 — Emily Haws — Progressive Conservative leadership candidates Caroline Mulroney, Christine Elliott, and Patrick Brown are grabbing the endorsements of several prominent Ontario Conservative MPs, but there seems to be less love for former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford and activist Tanya Granic Allen. So far, Ms. Mulroney is garnering the most support, with at least nine endorsements. Conservative […]