Canada’s House of Commons (File photo)

Citizens’ watchdog group calls on MPs to cut their salaries amid COVID-19

Elected MPs, senators and the governor general received their annual pay raises on April 1

More than 160 members of parliament have pledged to donate their annual pay raise to charity amid questions surrounding why the legislated salary boost wasn’t cancelled due to COVID-19.

Elected MPs, senators and the governor general received their annual pay raises on April 1, as part of legislation adopted 15 years ago which mandates salary and allowance increases each calendar year, also known as Bill C-30.

Under that law, MPs are entitled to a 2.1 per cent hike, which will increase their base salaries by just over $3,750 to $182,656. Meanwhile, senators are paid roughly $25,000 less than MPs.

But the novel coronavirus forced the federal government to suspend sittings in parliament until further notice, which left no chance for a moratorium to be placed on this year’s pay hike.

A day before the pay raise took effect, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), a vocal citizens’ advocacy group, called on elected officials to donate their pay bumps – a move both the prime minister and opposition leader have agreed to.

Since then, 163 MPs have taken that initiative, including 28 representing B.C. ridings.

List of MPs in B.C. who have agreed to donate their pay bump to a charity. (Canadian Tax Federation)

“Hopefully the other 175 follow that example,” the federation said in an email to its supporters on Thursday (April 23).

Now, the CTF is calling on more elected officials in Canada to cut their salaries, as politicians in New Zealand, India, Japan and South Africa have done.

“Since the COVID-19 crisis started, over five million of our fellow citizen have lost their jobs,” the federation said. “Tens of thousands of business owners have been forced to close their doors. And seniors have seen their savings take a hit.”

In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced recently that she and ministers would take a 20 per cent pay cut for six months to show “solidarity” with citizens impacted by the pandemic.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced this month that he and his cabinet would take a 33 per cent slash to salaries, with those funds going into the country’s COVID-19 relief fund.

Earlier this week, federal party leaders agreed to mix in-person and virtual House sittings in the coming weeks, effective until at least May 25.

MPs will hold one in-person sitting a week on Wednesdays with limited staff and parliamentary services. Once secured technology is in place, elected officials will have 90-minute virtual sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Brain Tumour Walk goes virtual in light of pandemic

Annual Brain Tumour Walk events across the country will be held online on June 27, due to COVID-19

RCMP Sgt. returns home to the Cariboo

Quesnel RCMP Staff Sgt. Richard Weseen grew up in Williams Lake

Allison Sutton awarded the 2020 Ina Kaebe Child Care Provider Memorial Award

Sutton has been a child care provider in Quesnel ofr the past 10 years

Letters to Dunrovin

Letters To Seniors project is connecting communities to care home residents during COVID-19

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read