Following a move by the federal government to eliminate a one-third non-taxable allowance for municipal officials, Prince Albert's city councillors have voted to adjust their pay to ensure it remains the same.
Prince Albert lawmakers are not alone in the move, after Ottawa nixed a rule which allowed councillors and mayors across Canada to effectively declare a third of their salaries as a tax-free allowance in lieu of claiming expenses in their 2017 budget. The change will come into effect Jan. 1, 2019.
As the change will reduce the net indemnity payments to elected lawmakers, it was suggested the payments be adjusted so salaries remain close to current amounts. The move will cost Prince Albert taxpayers $38,000 and was approved unanimously. Each councillor took home between $29,800 and $32,750 in 2017, while Mayor Greg Dionne saw just over $90,000.
Dionne accused the federal government of not handling the situation well. Despite the rules being ushered through in 2017, he said cities across the country were not informed of the change until the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) meeting in Halifax earlier this summer.
“There was no consulting; they just made the decision,” Dionne said. “It seems to be the play of the government game on all levels now to download [costs onto cities].”
Ward 4 Coun. Don Cody was equally unimpressed with the feds and maintained the move was unfair. He said both the FCM and Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association vocalized their discontent to the finance minister, but it fell on deaf ears.
“We have to increase our pay and who do you think pays it? It is the public, not the government,” Cody said. “It appears as though we are giving ourselves a raise when that is not the fact at all.”
On Twitter: @JournoMarr
Cold weather not slowing down outdoor workers
On days like today, the thought of spending even a few minutes outside can give anyone the shivers...
READ MORE +
New Highway Patrol officers join special teams on rural crime
Prince Albert is getting one of the six new Saskatchewan Highway Patrol recruits who graduated last...
READ MORE +
Redden on the Raiders: High-flying Raiders open road trip with a win
It was a lot of fun having Prince Albert native Allan Bristowe with me on the air in Prince George...
READ MORE +
Join the Discussion
paNOW is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules: Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. See full commenting rules.