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Quebec government wants to hike MNA salaries, eliminate allowances and bonuses

Quebec's Liberal government wants to hike the base salaries of MNAs while eliminating other allowances and bonuses in a move it says will end up saving the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Report recommends increasing salaries from $88,000 to $140,000 but scrapping other perks

Quebec government house leader Jean-Marc Fournier says he wants to pass a law cutting back on the money going to MNAs. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Quebec's Liberal government wants to hike the base salaries of MNAs while eliminating other allowances and bonuses in a move it says will end up saving the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

House leader Jean-Marc Fournier tabled two bills on Thursday. The first would eliminate the controversial transition bonus for MNAs who resign during their time in office, unless they do so for family or health reasons.

The second would implement the recommendations for MNA compensation made by former Supreme Court Justice Claire L'Heureux-Dubé in 2013.

Her report recommended boosting MNA base salaries from about $88,000 to $140,000 while eliminating other allowances and tax exemptions.

She also recommended MNAs contribute more to their pensions.

Fournier said that, in the end, MNAs will have less in their pocket.

"What we are doing is taking a report and make that in a law. There is nothing more and nothing less," said Forunier, adding that making these changes will save taxpayers $400,000 a year.

Parti Québécois House leader Bernard Drainville says his party supports the bill eliminating transition bonuses. However, the PQ will not support the compensation bill.

"Currently, the government proposes to impoverish nurses, teachers and public sector workers and they're proposing to increase MNA salaries by 31 per cent? That makes no sense," he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ryan Hicks is in his final year as a law student at McGill University and is a former Quebec political correspondent for the CBC. In 2018, he won the Amnesty International Media Award for his reporting from Guatemala about the root causes of migration from Central America to the United States.

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