Volume 94, Issue 45

Friday, November 17, 2000


NEWS

C-Day: Code goes to Senate

Student debt gains interest

McGuinty talks shop

MPP pay hike quashed

Western plays host to hip-hop

Seeing is believing

Corroded Disorder

MPP pay hike quashed



By Chris Lackner
Gazette Staff



The Tory proposal for a 42 per cent pay raise for Members of Provincial Parliament has hit a partisan road block this week.

The proposed pay hike, which would see average MPP salaries increased from $78,000 to $110,000 per year, was dropped by Queen's Park after the Liberals and New Democratic Party refused to support the initiative, said Brian Kelcey, press secretary for Tory House leader Norm Sterling.

Kelcey explained in 1996, the Tories appointed an independent, non-partisan commission, to investigate and compare the pay differences between Ontario MPP's and other positions such as the public service, MPPs from other provinces and high school principals.

He said MPP salaries were frozen in the early 1990s, adding the increase only appears extreme because salaries are playing catch-up with current levels.

"We just wanted to take a potential conflict of interest out of the hands of the MPPs," Kelcey said.

"It's going to be a lasting black eye," said Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty. "Mike Harris has told our policemen, teachers, our nurses and our firefighters that they are only entitled to a two per cent [salary increase]. At the end of the day we are just public servants. If they're getting two per cent, how can [MPPs] get more than two per cent?"

Provincial New Democratic Party leader, Howard Hampton, said he agreed. "They are very clearly hogs at the trough."

"It's pretty unbelievable and outlandish that they'd even think of giving themselves a pay raise," said Erin George, president of the Canadian Federation of Students.


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