Mr. Clement, tear down this baffle!

Tony Clement, Little ShitTM, Treasury Board supremo and keeper of the Privy Purse, has had another brainwave to bring those shiftless, malingering, deadbeat public servants to heel.

Bad enough the parasites are gaming the system with bogus sick leave (the average public employee, shocking figures show, takes over 400 sick days a year and has never once shown up for work), but now comes word of wholesale abuse of another magnitude.

Instead of working, Tony’s sources tell him, some public servants are (pas possible!!) farting around online, searching for bargains on eBay! And when they’re finished with that shit, they’re re-selling on Kijijji or editing the minister’s Wikipedia entry in the most unflattering terms.

Many enterprising souls even run their own small businesses out of their government office, deck building, say, for a tidy little supplementary income — and a welcome dose of purposeful activity.

Now Tony’s tits are in a tangle over all this time-banditry and he has decreed that henceforth all cubicle dividers must be pulled down so flunkies can be better monitored and their interwebz wassailing curtailed.

The pilot project for the minister’s latest modernizing vision will be launched next month at Agriculture Canada, which will dump the dividers and try the open concept — introduced nearly 20 years ago in the private sector, which Tony, like so many career politicians, venerates from afar.

So that’s it then for AGCan sluggos deep discounting on Groupon or peddling their Hollywood Beach condos on Airbnb. Jeez, it’s hardly worth going to work anymore.

Of course, government departments currently try to monitor their flunkies’ activities online, but there’s an acute shortage of IT elflords.

How come?

Well, er, because Tony sacked so many of them.


  1. The open office concept is nothing new in the federal government. Many federal offices had such set-ups until the 1970s and some even into the 1980s. If there really are a lot of civil servants goofing off on the job (and,I have no doubt that there are), that’s a sign of mismanagement on a grand scale and a huge admission of failure on the part of this Conservative government, which took at least 9 years to figure that out. The number of federal civil servants is now back to where it was in 2006, when the Harper government first took office. After a big and unnecessary hiring spree, Harper finally decided that his government had to create a crisis (a mammoth annual deficit) to help justify the big cuts that have been going on since 2012.

    Some of the cuts have involved the reduction of office space for most employees below the rank of Assistant Deputy Minister, thereby enabling the government to shed a lot of leased space in Ottawa and elsewhere. The elimination of the office dividers is also a part of that strategy. Of course there is a lot of deadwood in the government, but that’s just a symptom of the generally weak management that prevails in most federal offices.

  2. I did a few years consulting in the federal government and it was my experience that the deadwood was in management. I’ve never dealt with such a shiftless lot of cynical, sociopathic, no-account egomaniacs and careerists — and I spent years in newsrooms.

    If the workforce is cynical and demoralized, there’s a reason for it, but management isn’t going to blow the whistle on itself — and that includes the ministers.

    I recall being sent out on a project that took me across the country interviewing public servants who actually do things, and they were great: dedicated, hard-working, devoted to their professions. These were scientists, parks workers, environmentalists, policy wonks and so on. And all expressed gratitude to be operating at a far remove from the “bullshit in Ottawa.” The most telling thing about the experience was that, upon dispatching me from Ottawa, the under-assistant associate to the assistant deputy minister, or whatever he was, instructed me to “make them feel valued.” Not “let them know they’re valued,” but “make them feel valued.” And don’t get me started on the time four of us were hired to collect and edit the speeches of a former Clerk of the Privy Council, at a cost of thousands of dollars in hourly consulting fees. Great value for our tax dollars that was.

    Clean out the bullshit artists and empire builders, and the rest will take care of itself. The problem isn’t with the public service; it’s the people running it.

    • Quite true. I’d only add that the pathologies you describe have become self-perpetuating. When a management position opens the senior people responsible for filling it usually show a strong preference for candidates who think and behave as they do. Candidates who are principled and sincerely idealistic about public service are dismissed as naïve, if not potential troublemakers, whereas people who have demonstrated a willingness to do pretty much anything they’re asked (and keep their mouths shut about it) are valued as “team players” who “see the big picture” – the “big picture” being their superiors’ egos and interests.

  3. All this from the man who covered his riding in G8 bucks … for no personal political gain. Tony! Toni! Tone!

    • My good friend Andria Efthimiou is also a Greek Cypriot. Why does Minister Panayi hate his heritage so much? (Maybe because he would call Andria an ‘abomination’ because she supports InSite?)

  4. The seasick CSEC (FFS, it’s the goddamn CSE… eeech. Want me to revert to CNBRC?) stone frigate Taj Mahal is open concept too.

  5. Have you seen the Rock Snot story which was carried on 9 September? Another version of found at:

    DFO scientist Max Bothwell published an a peer reviewed article on Rock Snot. HIs American co-author is readily available for interviews. A Canadian journalist was unable to interview Mr Bothwell.It took sixteen DFO communications bureaucrats and 116 pages of memos to reject the interview request. There was a possibility he might have used the phrase “climate change” when talking to the press.

    It seem that these MinTru censors who use portions of the novel “1984” as a handbook provide no value whatsoever to Canada and “never would be missed”. Too bad Tony Clement doesn’t know about them.

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