McKinsey, the Trudeau government splattered with bulimia in advice from Canadian ministers.
Posted on 15.1.2023
RT reports that according to a Radio-Canada survey, the Liberals led by Justin Trudeau spent 50 times more than the Conservatives of Stephen Harper, who stayed in power longer. Revelations that could lead to a parliamentary inquiry.
Defence, immigration, nuclear energy, the fight against sexual harassment, tourism… Like their European counterparts, Canadian civil servants have in recent years largely sought the expertise of private consulting firms to accomplish their missions, and this, until in sovereign areas.
Thereby, $101.4 million contracts have been signed in seven years, with McKinsey alone, according to the latest report published on January 14 by Radio-Canada. Journalists from the public media compare this note to that of 2.2 million dollars left by the government of Stephen Harper… in nine years of reign. This exponential growth in the use of the New York consulting firm had already been singled out in January 2022 by the English-language daily Globe and Mail.
At the beginning of January of this new year, a first volley of revelations from Radio-Canada had created an uproar on Parliament Hill. Using “non-exhaustive” data from Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), the public media revealed that under the Trudeau government, federal agencies had passed for tens of millions of dollars contracts with McKinsey, including 84 million “in almost two years”.
According to the new revelations, we learn that the Ministry of Defense grabs the first place on the podium of the most greedy administrations in external advice, ahead of that of immigration. Among the missions for which McKinsey was responsible for the army, we find for example the creation of software allowing “to assign appropriate and optimal crews” to Navy ships going to sea.
The Trudeau government soon under fire from a commission of inquiry?
The U.S. private firm was also reportedly paid by the Canadian military to “advance cultural evolution through the development of a diversity, equity, and inclusion framework,” as well as to develop a system of management of complaints, “in particular those for sexual misconduct”, specify the two journalists at the origin of the publications.
With 15 contracts signed since March 2021, for the trifle of 34 million dollars, Defense would thus arrogate to itself a third of the cake. Although this expenditure on external advice turns out to be less than those of Ursula von der Leyen when she was at the head of the Bundeswehr (200 million euros in 2015 and 2016), these amounts caused an earthquake on Parliament Hill. Like the former German minister, Canadian ministers could soon find themselves in the crosshairs of a parliamentary inquiry. On January 10, the opposition parties said they had agreed to launch such an inquiry.
Beyond the amount of expenditure, it is also their relevance that raises questions. The use, at great expense, of an expert firm such as McKinsey to advise the Canadian authorities goes badly in a country where it “raining” tourism expertspoints out to Radio-Canada Benoit Duguay, professor at the School of Management Sciences at UQAM.
Moreover, the fruit of these expenditures would in certain cases prove to be inconclusive. For example, the famous complaints system of the Ministry of Defense would be “doomed to failure”, in the eyes of Louise Arbour. This former Supreme Court justice is also the author of a report advocating, in particular, to go beyond the framework of martial jurisdiction to deal with complaints related to sexual misconduct. “The system proposed by McKinsey would create the same conflict of interest that currently exists,” she said. Ironically, it was following his report that McKinsey had won the contract to create this new system, billed at two million dollars.
Canadians more measured than their French cousins?
This affair which broke out across the Atlantic is not without echoing that which broke out in France. According to a book-investigation by two journalists from The Obspublished in February 2022, the tricolor ministries would spend between 1.5 and 3 billion euros in advice… every year. That is an annual volume much higher than what the Canadian government is accused of having spent over the past seven years.
A real bonanza for the Americans McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group, the French Capgemini and the very globalized Accenture. One “usual and useful” remedydefended the French government last March, when the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF), in view of the Senate report on the influence of consulting firms on public policy, opened a preliminary investigation.
Since, two other investigations have been opened by the PNF, one “for non-compliant keeping of campaign accounts and reduction of accounting elements in a campaign account” and the other for “favoritism and concealment of favoritism”. It is within the framework of these investigations, where the links between Emmanuel Macron and his entourage with the American consulting firm during the presidential campaigns of 2017 and 2022 question, that searches were carried out at the Parisian headquarters of McKinsey and the presidential party Renaissance (ex-LREM).