It’s bonus season!!

 As we see the economy slip into the tank, as we see layoffs in all sectors, as stress in households grows with decimated retirement portfolios and as we hearthe Stelmach government tell us that they must borrow our grandchildren into debt for lack of room to cut spending, we hear that the Progressive Conservative government of Alberta has handed out $110,000,000 in “achievement” bonuses for senior civil servants in the last 3 years.

 Considering the explosive increases in spending in the last few years, all we can assume is that the rewarded “achievement”  is achieving excellence in creatively pissing away the hard earned tax dollars of Albertans.

 Bonuses can be an effective means of getting better performances from employees. These bonuses only apply to a few thousand of the senior elite in government however. The civil servants working in the trenches don’t see these lucrative perks. Most of this bonus money has gone to deputy ministers who make an average of $250,000 per year and have seen their salaries increase by 61% since 2005.

 Would not those disproportionate raises in the last few years constitute something of a reward for these people already? Apparently not.

 While the government is bound to report the spending on these bonuses in their respective departments, one department is unsurprisingly exempt from disclosure; that is the Alberta Executive Council.

The Executive Council is made up of the Premier and cabinet ministers.

Well Ed, how many perks have you lined your own and the cabinet’s pockets with bonuses? I guess those 30% raises last fall were not enough. Sadly as Albertans we are not allowed to find out these numbers.

 Keep these kinds of things in mind in a couple weeks as the government releases a deficit budget and claims they have no way to avoid budgeting on our collective credit cards.