Following last year's spring federal election in Canada, approximately one quarter of the defeated Conservative candidates landed jobs in the public sector, according to a report. The Conservatives criticized the report for its methodology.
As the Conservative Party of Canada rails against the size and scope of the federal government, many of the defeated Tories in the 2011 federal election received taxpayer-funded public sector jobs since then.
According to analysis by Postmedia News, it found that 35 of the 141 Conservative candidates, who lost on May 2, 2011, garnered positions in ministries, agencies, departments and even the Prime Minister’s Office.
Among the defeated candidates, four were appointed to the Senate, two to diplomatic positions in France, 14 became political staff to Members of Parliament and ministers and 14 to agencies and boards, such as the Quebec Port Authority – close to 75 percent of Quebec Tory candidates landed federal jobs.
The report was provided to the Prime Minister’s Office Friday and a spokesperson noted that each person is hired based on qualifications and merit not on political affiliation or allegiance to a party.
“Partisan affiliation should not qualify someone for consideration, nor should it exclude someone from consideration,” Carl Vallée said in an email to the news outlet. “It shouldn’t be a surprise that people with the determination and guts to run to be an elected member of Parliament would want to serve the public in some capacity.”
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney went to Twitter Sunday evening and criticized the report for its tactics of compiling such data and coming to certain conclusions.
“Ridiculous to mix political staff jobs w/ govt appointments. Of course political staff are political activists. This is news?” wrote Kenney.
Who were some of these Tory candidates that landed high-paying taxpayer-funded positions?
Josee Verner, Jean-Guy Dagenais, Larry Smith and Fabian Manning were appointed to the Senate and will each earn an annual salary of $132,300 – Manning and Smith actually resigned from their Senate posts in order to run in the federal election and when they lost they were reappointed.
Neil Drabkin, who worked as former Minister of International Trade Stockwell Day’s chief of staff, lost to Liberal MP Marc Garneau in the Westmount—Ville-Marie riding. He now serves as chief of staff to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver.
In the riding of Winnipeg North, Ann Matejicka lost to Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux by nearly 3,000 votes. Matejicka now works as Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley's chief of staff.
Chiefs of staff earn $177,000 per year.
One month prior to the election, documents suggested that the Conservatives actually raised the salaries of aides. In one instance, the Canadian Press (via CBC News) found that one senior aide’s salary was raised to $190,000, which is $35,000 more than the maximum rate.
Salary information of Parliament officials can be found here.