Saskatoon

Premier's $40K 'top-up' from Sask. Party should end, NDP says

The provincial New Democratic Party wants Premier Brad Wall to stop receiving a salary "top-up" from the Saskatchewan Party, but the Premier's office says there are no plans to change the practice.

Brad Wall receives stipend for party-related work on top of government salary

Saskatchewan's Opposition wants Premier Brad Wall to stop receiving a stipend from the Saskatchewan Party for party work. (Trent Peppler/CBC)

The provincial New Democratic Party wants Premier Brad Wall to stop receiving a salary "top-up" from the Saskatchewan Party, but his office says that's not going to happen.

This is a bad idea at the best of times.- Warren McCall, Opposition house leader

This weekend, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark told media she had stopped receiving a $50,000 stipend from her political party. The money came on top of her yearly salary from the province, and was meant as a payment for work on behalf of the party.

Now, Opposition house leader Warren McCall wants Wall to follow suit.

"This is a bad idea at the best of times," he said. "When Brad Wall's out there asking people about rollbacks and people losing their jobs, how he could stand by the bonus the Sask. Party pays him is unconscionable."

Wall currently receives $166,140 from the provincial government, including a base salary of $96,180 and reimbursement of additional expenses of $69,950. Wall's wage is increased by a stipend from the Saskatchewan Party that is usually in the ballpark of $40,000 a year, a spokesperson with the Premier's office said.

McCall says Wall accepting the stipend is a bad idea when the premier is calling for public sector rollbacks. (CBC News)

McCall believes the payment sends a bad message to voters. He said the stipend is potentially a way for major donors to infiltrate the political process.

"He is paid a very decent wage by the people of Saskatchewan," he said. "And that that, somehow, is not enough, looks bad."

In the future, B.C.'s premier said she will ask her party to reimburse her for any individual expenses related to partisan work. McCall said that sounds fair.

No plans to nix stipend

There are no plans to stop the practice, a spokesperson from the Premier's office said in an email. 

Wall's duties go beyond his job as leader and include speaking engagements and leaders dinners, among other things, the spokesperson said. 

The spokeperson said the stipend is not paid for by the public, is reported on Wall's income taxes, and is reported to the province's conflict of interest commissioner each year. 

Wall's salary as premier ranks ninth in Canada among provinces and territories. 

With files from The Canadian Press

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