Canada’s House of Commons (File photo)

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

Gayle Hallgren is concerned about how a proposed cannabis shop will change Fort Langley. (Hallgren photo)
LETTER: Cannabis shops will harm Fort Langley’s charm

A local letter writer questions why the village needs a pot shop

Fraser Health has announced another COVID exposure at Brookswood Secondary. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Two elementaries added to Brookswood in latest Langley schools with COVID exposure

Three school alerts Monday follow on the heels of five issued this past weekend

Fort Langley’s proposed new truck route is outlined in red. It would move most truck traffic around the village of Fort Langley. (Langley Township Engineering/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Fort Langley truck route plans to be decided in 2021

Township council will decide on the project during the budget process next year

(Black Press Media files)
A call for Aldergrove Christmas lights

Send in pictures and addresses so others can see your holiday display

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest, B.C. premier tells Penticton girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Most Read