Once installed in the Ontario government, there was kind of a divide between people who wanted to move on up to the Federal government (seemingly they were not concerned about skills not being transferrable, hence my guess on COBOL and old mainframes being in use), and the other half who wanted to just put in their time in one place and collect their paycheque and pension.
Also, can confirm on the expensive contractors. IBM in there pushing Rational Rose and hardcore waterfall did nobody any favours at all.
Exactly. My first job out of university in 1996 was with the Canadian government. One of my first tasks was to update a COBOL program that had originally been written in 1972. I left that job in 1997, but I doubt the program I updated has changed much in the 24 years since, so it's at least 48 years old at this point.