Manitoba’s independent commissioner rules on pay raises for politicians


Manitoba provincial politicians will be getting raises in the coming years, along with more money for expenses such as office rent and meals.

A report from the province’s independent commissioner on politician pay and benefits says the base pay for members of the legislative assembly will rise by 2.5 per cent next year and 2.75 per cent the following year.

It is currently at $106,603 and has risen in line with the cost of living since 2020.

Additional top-up salaries for cabinet ministers, the leader of the Opposition, the premier and some others will see the same raises, bringing the premier’s total pay to more than $200,000.

The commissioner is raising meal allowances up to a maximum of $61.85 for dinner — there are lower amounts for breakfast and lunch — saying current rates have not kept pace with rising costs.

And the allowance for constituency office rent is going up by $1,000 to $2,750 per month.

“The current level is inadequate. A constituency office is vital to the work of members and facilitates their service to constituents,” commissioner Michael Werier wrote in the report released Friday.

Some politicians have had to take money out of other allowances to cover office rent, he added.

The commissioner is tasked with reviewing pay and benefits after each provincial election. Friday’s report follows the vote last Oct. 3 that saw the NDP sweep the Progressive Conservatives from power.

Currently, salaries for Manitoba politicians are in the middle of the pack among provinces, Werier wrote. The base pay is higher than in Atlantic Canada but less than in Quebec, Ontario and the other western provinces.

The base pay for a Manitoba legislature member is about half that of a member of Parliament, the report shows. The premier’s current salary is sixth among provincial leaders and slightly less than that of Winnipeg’s mayor.

Following the increases specified by Werier over the next two years, salaries are to increase in line with inflation to a maximum of three per cent each year.

“While it is difficult to forecast salary increases for members in other provinces, the salary increases will continue to place Manitoba in an appropriate position as compared to members across Canada,” Werier wrote.

   This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2024

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