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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

A LOOK BACK: Port Alberni’s fireboats

Delve into the city’s past with the Alberni Valley Museum’s online digital archives

Vancouver Island communities receive gov’t funding for infrastructure projects

Huu-ay-aht First Nations builds community with $1.8M grant, one among six on Island

Island poets take the mic at July’s virtual Words on Fire in Port Alberni

Jude Neale, Joe Lunchbucket bring distinctly different styles to Quite Determined Literary Road Trip

Summer never ends at Port Alberni’s DRAW Gallery

Exhibit showcases four new Ucluelet artists

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Most Read