Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is one of several members of Parliament pledging to donate their legislated pay raise to charities responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, his office says.
Scheer’s press secretary, Denise Siele, told HuffPost Canada in an email Monday that the Tory leader and Regina-Qu’appelle MP plans to give “any increase he receives to a local charity who is working hard to support Canadians affected by COVID-19.”
Automatic salary hikes for MPs and senators have been set out in federal law since 2005. The top-ups are based on the average yearly percentage increase in base-wages negotiated by Canada’s largest private sector unions.
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On April 1, the base salary for all 338 MPs will rise by 2.1 per cent, according to Heather Bradley, the director of communications for the Speaker of the House of Commons. That means the base salary for MPs will rise to $182,656.90, an increase of $3,756.90 from 2019. Last April, the base salary jumped by $3,300 to $178,900.
Key figures in Parliament, such as cabinet ministers, party leaders, and House leaders, earn tens of thousands more on top of their base salary. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for example, earns double the salary of an ordinary MP.
While MPs can seek to have their salaries frozen through legislation, that step hasn’t been taken. Stephen Harper’s former Conservative government froze MP salaries for three fiscal years during the global economic crisis — in 2010–2011, 2011–2012 and 2012–2013.
On Monday, Siele told HuffPost the Conservatives had raised the issue with the government.
“It is up to the government to bring forward legislation to make changes, should they so choose,” she said.
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