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Harper: Largest Prime Minister’s Office in History

As if the House of Commons and senate wasn’t enough, the Prime Minister’s Office is the biggest in history. This comes as the Canadian economy is crawling and austerity is coming to find $4 billion in savings. Harper called for small government back in the 90s and in 2004, however, that Harper is gone. In the first 5 years of Harper’s mandate since 2006, bureaucracy has grown 13%, contradicting these small government principles.

Members of the PMO by Year and Prime Minister

96-97 97-98 98-99 99-00 00-01 01-02 02-03
662 682 710 744 777 818 938
JC JC JC JC JC JC JC

Legend: Jean Chretien (Liberal): JC; Paul Martin (Liberal): PM; Stephen Harper (Conservative): SH

03-04 04-05 05-06 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11
938 1,026 1,032 904 912 981 1,051 1,066
JC PM PM SH SH SH SH SH
Source: Global News

PMO spending jumped $80.3 million with Harper and now costs $160 million. It is expected to be one of the many departments that are looking for 5% to 10% savings by the next federal budget – or should be. A 10% trim wouldn’t shrink much as it would only save $16 million and leave the PMO at its largest.

Raymond Rivet, a PMO spokesman defends the increased costs slating “time-limited initiatives in support of key government priorities. The Afghanistan Task Force, G8, G20 and the Olympics, the Economic Action Plan and Commissions of Inquiry are good examples of this.”

“Budgets and jobs for everything else from health care to the environment are on the table,” said NDP Ethics Critic Charlie Angus. “If we’re looking for efficiencies, I suggest the first thing we do is take away the credit card from the prime minister.”