Toronto pay hikes put on ice

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

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toronto-dollarAfter a raucous debate in Toronto City Hall yesterday, city politicians decided to postpone a decision to provide themselves with a pay increase beyond the cost of living. The final decision has been punted to the upcoming executive committee meeting being held on April 7th.

City councillors, including the Mayor will only be entitled to a 2.42% cost of living increase effective next week. This pay hike means Mayor Miller will now make $166,985 while his council colleagues will make just under $100,000. By comparison, Vancouver councillors make around $50K.

Speaking to the Toronto Star, Councillor Kyle Rae summed up one side of the debate quite nicely:

"It's minor, it's like 2 per cent. Leave it alone. We agreed this was the method we'd use. But we've got fat-cat councillors with other forms of income making it look like they're magnanimous and taking leadership. They're not."

Some of the councillors have already gone on record as indicating they will not take the increase and will provide it to local charities.

Councillor Case Ootes, who has led the charge to put a halt on pay increases, says this is all about symbolism.

"It would have set an example. This council understands the suffering people are going through in terms of job losses, in terms of having to take pay cuts, in terms of retirement incomes that have been lost because of the market crisis."

Check back here soon for our next installment of He Said, He Said where both Mike and I weigh in on the issue of pay raises for civic politicians. Expect some fireworks on this one.

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