Ka ching! MLAs approve pay hike

The most poorly paid MLAs in Canada are getting a pay hike. Yukon MLAs passed legislation Tuesday that approved significant increases to their…

The most poorly paid MLAs in Canada are getting a pay hike.

Yukon MLAs passed legislation Tuesday that approved significant increases to their salaries.

All MLAs will be paid $65,000 annually, plus more for holding cabinet and leadership positions.

Cabinet ministers receive another $35,000 annually. The premier gets $50,000 more.

The leader of the official opposition gets $35,000 on top of the base MLA salary, while the third party leader gets an additional $15,000.

Salaries will be adjusted every year to match inflation.

Expenses accounts have increased to a maximum of $12,500.

The pay increase is retroactive to June 1, 2007, meaning January cheques will include pay MLAs should have received starting that month.

Community Services minister Glenn Hart rose in the House Tuesday afternoon to introduce Bill 45, Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly Act No. 2, for a third reading.

A voice vote was taken and the legislation passed.

All three NDP MLAs voted for the pay increase, but didn’t take the decision lightly, said leader Todd Hardy.

“It’s an extremely difficult position to be in to vote on your own pay increase,” he said.

“With all the money in government hands, we should be building prosperity for everybody. There should be more money for social assistance, shelters and alcohol and drug addiction.”

Referring to his legislative renewal bill that failed to move forward earlier this week, Hardy said improvements to political accountability and working relationships need improvement.

“The legislature is not working as good as it should be,” he said. “If we expect to receive more pay, we need to work in a place that demands more of us.”

Bill 108 called for wide-ranging public consultation on the legislative system to help improve access, accountability and relevancy of the house to Yukoners.

MLAs were paid $38,000 annually, the lowest in Canada.

Salaries for ministers and the premier were actually lower in 2007 than in 1979.

And, along with the leader of the opposition and third-party leader, they are less the half the national average.

The raise puts Yukon politicians fourth last in Canada, in front of Alberta, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Wage hikes would cost about $520,000 annually on top of the current cost of $1,040,000, if the recommendations are adopted.

A report written by former clerk of the assembly Patrick Michael recommended the pay hike. That report was released last month.

The Member Services board, a branch of the legislative assembly, commissioned the report in May. (JW)

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

Just Posted

Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Premier Sandy Silver speaks to media after delivering the budget in the legislature in Whitehorse on March 4. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Territorial budget predicts deficit of $12.7 million, reduced pandemic spending in 2021-2022

If recovery goes well, the territory could end up with a very small surplus.

Dawson City RCMP are reporting a break and enter on Feb. 25 after two masked men entered a residence, assaulted a man inside with a weapon and departed. (Black Press file)
Two men arrested after Dawson City home invasion

Dawson City RCMP are reporting a break and enter on Feb. 25.… Continue reading

Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn speaks to reporters at a news conference in Whitehorse on Dec. 21, 2017. New ATIPP laws are coming into effect April 1. (Chris Windeyer/Yukon News file)
New access to information laws will take effect April 1

“Our government remains committed to government openness and accountability.”

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

Most Read