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Thursday , 13 May 2021

M.D. council rejects 15 per cent pay increase

M.D. of Bonnyville council will not get a pay increase.

The M.D. rejected the proposed 15 per cent increase in councillors pay which was meant to offset the eliminated Canada Revenue Agency one-third tax exemption for elected officials.

The recorded vote was 5-2 (Swigart, Jubinville).

The remuneration policy will come back to council which will add adjustments yearly tied to M.D. staff’s increases for cost of living.

“I think in the end we saw that council had the recognition that these are tough times out there and we’ve seen a lot of other folks take pay decreases,” said Reeve Greg Sawchuk on The Morning After.

“When it came down to voting, in the end, the majority of council said no we won’t take the pay raise, we won’t pass on our personal tax problem onto the M.D. taxpayer and so we’ll take essentially a 15 per cent pay decrease.”

In 2018, Reeve Sawchuk earned a salary of $85,800, while Ward 1 Councillor Marc Jubinville earned $64,200, Ward 2 Councillor Darcy Skarsen earned $54,000, Ward 3 Councillor Mike Krywiak took home $60,600, Ward 4 Councillor Ed Duschene $53,430, Ward 5 Councillor Dana Swigart earned $63,000, and Ward 6 Councillor Ben Fadeyiw earned $61,650.

“In tying it to our staff, I think it makes us more responsible to them and to the public that you aren’t greedy. Cost of living allowances are based on what’s going on out there, it’s not just a number thrown out, there’s some research that goes into it,” said Sawchuk.

M.D. council was presented with the policy originally in May and waited until all councillors were presented to decide on the policy.

The 15 per cent pay increase was recommended by the Rural Municipalities of Alberta.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.