Updated: CBC quotes judge saying crooked MLAs twisted his pension recommendations (see 2nd story below).
Video Source: Charles Leblanc
Veteran MLAs to get $42,500 bonuses On top of generous pensions
April 26, 2010
Veteran New Brunswick MLAs who qualify for a pension will also get lump sum bonuses of $42,500 each if they leave office this summer under pay and benefit changes they quietly voted themselves two years ago, CBC News has learned.
"They already get generous pay and generous pension plans, so to layer on top of the cake more icing of generous severance packages just adds insult to injury," said Kevin Gaudet, of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
New Brunswick introduced limited severance packages called re-establishment allowances in the mid 1990s for MLAs who lost their seats before reaching the eight years required to qualify for an MLA pension.
'Wouldn't it be nice in the private sector if we could all choose to retire and require our employers to give us a great big sugaring off cheque after we quit? The fact is we can't — and nor should they.' —Kevin Gaudet, Canadian Taxpayers Federation
The money was meant to help ease former members back into the workforce and paid a maximum of $27,000.
But in 2008, current MLAs voted to increase the maximum payment to $42,500 and to make the allowances available to everyone - even politicians who quit or retire on a full pension.
MLA bonuses not my idea: judge
May 5, 2010
A New Brunswick judge has denied claims he recommended that MLAs should increase severance packages for retiring legislature members.
CBC News reported two weeks ago that a number of MLAs leaving office this year would get up to $42,000 in severance payments.
Loredana Catalli Sonier, the clerk of the legislature, said a 2007 commission on MLA compensation headed by Mr. Justice Patrick Ryan recommended the re-establishment payments.
But on Wednesday, Ryan said that was not the case.
The report said, "the purpose of a re-establishment payment is to financially aid a former member to re-enter the workforce," not to retire, he pointed out.