The Parliamentary Budget Office released new numbers last week showing the status of the public civil service. The numbers show the number of non-uniform staff in the Department of Defense rose to 27,177 by the end of the 2011-12 fiscal year from 20,978 in the 2005-06 fiscal year.
The 30% increase in the Defense Department far exceeds the net 14% increase in the entire civil service.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent a letter to Defense Minister Peter MacKay last year telling him to second look the cuts he can make in his department, after seeing the swelling of administration that needs to be gutted.
Retired lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie gave the same warning in 2011 when he released his report on overhauling the military: Drastically cut the bureaucracy that was created for the Afghan war.
Two years after this report, however, it turns out the cuts MacKay chose to make hurt our men and women in uniform, the very people he was supposed to protect. The bureaucracy remains bloated, and the Canadian military is paying the price. It isn't that the military is underfunded, it's that the funding is wasted in bureaucracy.
The 2011 report also noted the civil service increase in the department "had been the highest in absolute and relative terms."
A spokesperson for MacKay said they aim to reduce the number from 29,348 to 25,408 by the end of this fiscal year. However, this reduction is a far cry from former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien's clean up of bureaucracy which reduced the number of civil servants in the department of defense to 17,037 in the 1999.
"This is in line with our department's transition to a lower pace of operations following the end of the combat mission in Afghanistan," Paloma Aguilar said in a statement.