New politician pay deal focus of week-long legislature sitting

EDMONTON — Alberta’s legislature resumes Wednesday for a brief sitting that will see the government OK a new pay deal for politicians, but reject a recommendation to drastically hike Premier Alison Redford’s salary.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s legislature resumes Wednesday for a brief sitting that will see the government OK a new pay deal for politicians, but reject a recommendation to drastically hike Premier Alison Redford’s salary.

Government house leader Dave Hancock says Redford has already made it clear she won’t accept a recommendation to hike her annual pay from $200,000 to $335,000 within two years.

“I think everybody agrees that’s too high, too much of an increase,” Hancock told reporters Tuesday.

That recommendation was one of many made earlier this month in a report by retired Supreme Court Justice John Major.

Hancock said the government will proceed with almost all of the rest of Major’s recommendations including:

l A base salary of $134,000 for all 87 legislature members, with a $67,000 salary bump for cabinet members, the Speaker and Official Opposition leader.

l A cap on the transition allowance to a maximum one year’s pay; the old formula had no ceiling.

l No extra pay for politicians sitting on committees, though cabinet chairpersons would get $200 per meeting.

l An end to the yearly RRSP allowance but implementation of a defined pension plan for MLAs.

l A panel of three judges to be asked to review the compensation rules every four years.

Hancock said while Major recommends more than a quarter of the base salary be kept tax-free, the government will move instead to make the whole $134,000 taxable.

Hancock said that’s the message they’ve heard from Albertans.

The new pay rules will see the politicians earn slightly less than what they are now, but Shayne Saskiw of the opposition Wildrose party says any benefit to taxpayers will be wiped out by the cost of a defined pension benefit plan.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation estimates there is still $42 million in unfunded pension liabilities from the previous MLA pension program, scrapped by former premier Ralph Klein in 1993.

Just Posted

Red Deer teacher to get schooled on battlefields

Juno Beach Centre will host 20 Canadian teachers

PM’s official residence becoming a costly ‘debacle,’ say Conservatives

OTTAWA — Nearly four years after Justin Trudeau opted not to move… Continue reading

SNC-Lavalin books $2B charge, warns on forecast, announces reorganization

MONTREAL — SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. warns its 2019 results could be significantly… Continue reading

Equifax to pay up to $700M in data breach settlement

WASHINGTON — Equifax will pay up to $700 million to settle with… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

New Zealand wins World Triathlon mixed relay race in Edmonton

EDMONTON — Team New Zealand, trailing the field early, stormed back in… Continue reading

Canadian swimmer Maggie MacNeil swims to world gold

GWANGJU, Korea, Republic Of — Canadian swimmer Maggie MacNeil has won the… Continue reading

Quebec dubbing industry works to stay afloat as streaming platforms gains steam

MONTREAL — Few people will recognize his face, but Tristan Harvey has… Continue reading

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

TORONTO — The names of the two people killed in a shooting… Continue reading

Relief in sight for southeastern Canada following weekend heat wave

MONTREAL — Relief is in sight for sweltering Canadians after a weekend… Continue reading

Trudeau’s former right-hand adviser playing role in Liberal election campaign

OTTAWA — With three months to go now until the election, the… Continue reading

Hotels face battle over whether to help US house migrants

DETROIT — There’s a new target in the clash over immigration: hotels.… Continue reading

Most Read