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Legislative Report (31 May 2006)

Legislative Report

31 May 2006

Extra Pay for All NDP MLAs

“There is simply no way Premier Lorne Calvert can defend the fact that every member of his NDP caucus receives extra pay…..Funny how your opinions can change when you are looking at things from the government side of the house.”

“Just plain wrong”

(Editorial, Regina Leader Post, May 30, 2006)

In April of 1991, Lorne Calvert complained that too many government MLAs were getting extra titles and extra money in addition to their regular pay. Fast forward to last week and you find another example of how words can come back to haunt people.

Fridays are the days governments do things when they are afraid of how the public will react and don’t want their announcement to get a lot of attention. So on Friday, a week after the Spring Session ended, Lorne Calvert announced the appointment of Lon Borgerson and Peter Prebble as legislative secretaries. They join Joanne Crofford, who was appointed earlier this month as a legislative secretary so she could examine Saskatchewan’s music industry.

These appointments mean there is not a single, solitary member of the NDP caucus who does not get extra pay. Ms. Crofford along with Mr. Borgerson and Mr. Prebble will now each get an extra $11,000 for work that arguably should be performed by existing ministers in existing departments. Here’s the scorecard:

  • 19 NDP cabinet ministers
  • 4 NDP committee chairs
  • 3 legislative secretaries
  • 1 caucus chair
  • 1 whip
  • 1 speaker
  • 1 deputy speaker

Thirty NDP MLAs. Thirty NDP MLAs with extra duties and extra pay. One has to wonder if this is the most efficient use of taxpayers’ dollars. There are problems in our health care system. Babies have to go to Edmonton before they can get a proper diagnosis. Patients are waiting too long in hospital beds for angiograms. Cancer patients have to wait far too long to see a specialist. And when they do, some have to pay for their own life-extending drugs, even though the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency is recommending their approval.

Lorne Calvert is refusing to apologize for this. He doesn’t see the problem. This is what happens to a government that has been in power for too long. They no longer see what is all to clear to many others.

In his last Throne Speech, Lorne Calvert promised that no one in Saskatchewan would be left behind. It seems that’s true—if you’re a member of his NDP caucus.

If you have a question about this report or any other matter, just Contact Glen.

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