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Monday, April 09, 2007

in the land of oil.

Come and listen to a story about a man named...

The Calgary Sun is reporting that Alberta PC MLA's have received over $1,000,000 in extra salary for Government Members committee work over the past year on top of their MLA base salary of $74,000. Here's a list of some PC MLA's and their extra collection:

- Ray Danyluk - $47,132
Youth Secretariat
Advanced Education Comm.
N. Alberta Dev. Council
Court Workers Program Review

- Doug Griffiths - $46,998
Standing Committees of the Legislature
Agenda and Priorities Comm.
Adv. Education Comm.
MLA Task Force to launch Rural Development

- Carol Haley - $47,496
Standing Policy Comm.
Treasury Board

- Denis Herard - $47,106
Comm. on Workers Compensation
Alberta Mental Health Advisory Comm.
Standing Policy Comm.

- Ron Liepert - $40,381
Standing Policy Comm.
Trade and Transp. Comm.
Local Authorities Election Act Review
Regulatory Review Steering Comm.
Public Affairs Bureau Review
Alberta Film Commission

- Rob Lougheed - $48,872
Standing Policy Comm.
Council of Status of Persons with Disabilities
MLA AISH Review Comm.
Treasury Board

- Richard Magnus - $42,666
Standing Policy Comm.
Alberta Economic Development Authority
Treasury Board

- Ivan Strang - $42,407
Standing Policy Committees
Endangered Species Conservation Comm.
Treasury Board

- Len Webber - $40,500
P.I. and Security Guard Review
Healthy Aging and Continuing Care Comm.
Task Force on Continuing Care Standards
Alaska-Alberta Bilateral Council

You can take a look at all Government MLA committee appointments here.

This pointed out, I don't believe that we pay our elected officials enough. With the current base salary looking like so...
MLA Indemnity - $49,836.00
MLA Tax Free Allowance - $24,918.00
(Total) - $74,754.00

...and MLA's expectations to attend many upon many functions in their ridings and communities during their terms, the $24,000 tax free allowance disappears very fast. This said, I don't think loading PC MLA's with committee work or extra perks available only to Government Members is the solution to this problem. I would be very interested to know what type of work many of these committees have produced and if this work is actually worth the extra salary only available to Alberta PC MLA's.

On a completely different note, the floundering Alberta Alliance held it's AGM last weekend and elected a new executive headed by a familiar face. Randy Thorsteinson, founding leader of the Alberta Alliance and former leader of the Alberta Social Credit Party, is back as President. Thorsteinson left the Alberta Alliance leadership following his defeat against Innisfail-Sylvan Lake PC MLA Luke Ouellette in the 2004 provincial election. Cardston-Taber-Warner (and lone) Alliance MLA Paul Hinman was elected leader shortly thereafter.


not a wealthy tory said...

(Total includes all payments and allowances)

Ray Danyluk - $384,137
Pearl Calahasen - $252,410
Shirley McClellan - $251,744
Harvey Cenaiko - $241,260
Lyle Oberg - $232,208
Ty Lund - $226,371
Guy Boutilier - $223,329
Art Johnston - $220,583
Greg Melchin - $219,633
Len Mitzel - $218,047
Ken Kowalski - $217,176
Mel Knight - $214,043
Iris Evans - $213,754
Gary Mar - $212,024
Barry McFarland - $211,888
Rob Renner - $211,166
Ralph Klein - $209,923
Ed Stelmach - $192,945

Opposition Leaders
Liberal Kevin Taft - $158,331
Alliance Paul Hinman - $135,430
NDP Brian Mason - $117,888


From the SUN:
Lac La Biche-St. Paul MLA Ray Danyluk led the pack with a whopping $384,137. It includes $50,883 in mileage payments - at 43 cents per kilometre - and $169,498 in farm subsidies for himself and his wife.

By comparison, Stelmach's wife, Marie, received only a $450 BSE payment from the province.

Liberal critic Hugh MacDonald teased Danyluk in the legislature about the amount of his farm subsidies.

He is urging Alberta farmers to call Danyluk for help filling out the application forms.

But Danyluk says the forms are so complicated, he had to hire an accountant to fill them out for him.

Sam said...

How is $74,000 not enough money?

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

Tory apologist: Good government is worth every penny.

You know, it used to be that the politicians waited until they retired or were defeated that they racked up $500k/year salaries working as "consultants" in the private sector...

Bob McInnis said...

I agree that we do not pay our politicians enough money to attract the best candidates. The base $74K is midlevel geologist, manager wages in today's market.But, this shouldn't ever be the best job that the candidate will have. They should bring experience and some accomplishment to the job or atleast have prospects and potential for after their tenure.
Rather than begrudging a few dollars, we should be looking for ways to attract the best and brightest Albertans to run.

Anonymous said...

To "Not a Wealthy Tory",

RE: Ray Danyluk. How does a farm subsidy count as government pay?

That's a completely ridiculous list. If Paul Martin made a $1 million from his steamship company, would we say he was paid $1 million for being Prime Minister? The above list came from the Calgary or Edmonton Sun (can't remember which) as was previously debunked as garbage.

Also, how does milage count as salary? Ask anyone who drives a lot for a living using their own vehicle if milage gives one much in the way of compensation. It covers depreciation on your vehicle.

I agree with the last poster. $74k may be a lot of money to some, but not a lot to others. And certainly no incentive for many to enter politics. Depending on your private sector occupation, running as an MLA can represent a fairly significant reduction in compensation.

christine said...

Martin's company was in a blind trust.

How many trips back and forth do you suppose Danyluk takes each day from Edmonton and back. Does he count each individual meeting as a trip there and back + lunch? +$300,000 raises a lot of questions.

ken chapman said...

You pay peanuts you get monkeys.

A farm subsidy is not MLA income nor is milege for travel. Expenses and reimbursements do not constitute income either so the numbers are very misleading. This is the kind of "information" presentation that adds to cynicism and seriously misinforms citizens.

Danyluk was head of the Northern Alberta Development Council would have had to rack up the miles to do the job which is all over the north.

Lets pay these people very well and insist on some real performance from them. This is a 24/7 and can even be a 365 day per year job for some because you can't just leave it at the office.

Government's are critically important and society should pay well for these jobs to attract the best minds with valuable life experience from all kinds of backgrounds. We should not reward longevity by back loading the pensions as we do now.

The opposition should now be in on this allowance "income" and committee compensation too. Thanks to the recent changes by Selmach/Hancock who are helping make Alberta a better democracy.

docsanchez said...

The pay is not enough compared to private sector folks peddling similar influence.

That being said the funds should be directed to base salaries not committee work and allowances. Pay them for doing their job. How is traveling between your riding and Edmonton not part of doing the expected job of an MLA? Every MLA should be expected to sit on additional committees and compensated for it in a base salary.

PaulHinmanFan said...

The Alberta Alliance is awesome! I mean, just look at the photos from their AGM. They say wisdom comes with age, so the average attendee was extremely wise.

You would think with an average membership age of 102 that health care would be a higher priority for this party of Ted Morton wanna be's...

Anonymous said...


You made me chuckle with that post. A new take on the "a chicken for every pot". How about: A [new] hip for every pelvis?

On a more serious note, I like having Hinman in the Legislature. He makes it bluntly obvious why the PCs should remain the de facto party of choice for voters with a conservative bent [provided Stelmach gets his reforms in].

Curious that Randy Thornsteinsen (sp?) is getting back into things with the AB Alliance. Maybe he shares my opinion of Hinman.