Calgary

'Quit showboating': Nenshi calls out councillors over pension review motions

Calgary's mayor is pushing back against proposals to have councillors review city pension plans, saying council should stay out of it and leave it to the experts.

'Let the citizen volunteer committee do its work. They're experts and they're citizens'

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says his council colleagues who are calling for a review of city pension plans are grandstanding. (CBC)

Calgary's mayor is pushing back against proposals to have councillors review city pension plans, saying council should stay out of it and leave it to the experts.

Ward 5 Coun. George Chahal and Ward 11 Coun. Jeromy Farkas are bringing forward separate notices of motion on Monday calling for reviews of all the city's pension plans — including council's.

Both councillors believe the retirement payouts are too rich. Chahal's proposal would have the city hire an outside consultant to undertake the review.

But Naheed Nenshi says the city already put in place a citizen volunteer committee to look into the issue.

"We have a citizen volunteer committee that makes these decisions. Let the citizen volunteer committee do its work. They're experts and they're citizens. They know what they're doing. Quit monkeying with it. Quit showboating. Quit wasting council's time," he said.

"I have to say to my colleagues on council — quit it already. The key philosophy here is an important one which is: politicians shouldn't set their own salaries or benefits. Politicians should never set their own salaries and benefits. It is a terrible, terrible way of running the system because you get grandstanding, you get showboating."

Nenshi says it can also lead to someone making sacrifices that might restrict other people from running for office.

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