It will help 'recruit' politicians: CAQ tables bill to increase MNA salaries
A bill to increase the salaries of MNAs by $30,000 was tabled Thursday morning in the national assembly by Government House Leader Simon Jolin-Barrette.
If the bill is adopted, the base salary of elected officials will increase from $101,561 to $131,766.
CAQ MNAs are comfortable with the increase.
"Any increase is reasonable," said Beauce North MNA Luc Provençal.
"It has to be seriously considered," said Saint-Jérôme MNA Youri Chassin of the committee's report, recommending a $30,000 increase in MNAs' salaries. He thinks the increase is reasonable.
Minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, believes that a better salary will attract people to politics.
"It is legitimate to look at the remuneration of MNAs and ministers [...] We must think about the next generation. When you want to recruit, it is important," he said.
Several other CAQ members did not want to comment on the subject.
QS CHALLENGES THE CAQ
The salary increase is causing a lot of unease among the opposition parties.
Québec solidaire (QS) has challenged the CAQ members to ask their constituents what they think of the wage increase.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation finds the increase unacceptable, especially in the current economic context.
A petition opposing the increase was launched by the organization and has collected more than 15,000 signatures.
The committee's report analyzing the elected officials' compensation was tabled a few weeks ago. One of its recommendations was to increase the base salary of MNAs from $101,561 to $131,766.
However, many MNAs have additional duties that allow them to earn higher salaries. For example, a minister is paid $177,732, as is the leader of the official opposition. Following the report's recommendations, their salaries would increase to $230,591. The premier's salary would increase from $208,200 to $270,120.
The report indicates that MNAs spend an average of 63 hours per week on work and 10 hours per week on travel.
Even with the increase, however, Quebec MNAs would still earn less than their federal counterparts, who earn $194,600.
The committee was composed of former Liberal minister Lise Thériault and former PQ MP Martin Ouellet.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 11, 2023.