TORONTO—Ontario’s Liberal government will introduce legislation next week to freeze the pay of members of the provincial parliament for another five years.
The Canadian Press has learned the Liberals will introduce the bill to avoid an automatic pay increase for MPPs of five to six per cent that would kick in April 1.
Government sources say the bill will extend the pay freeze—which was first imposed in 2009—to 2019, and even then MPPs would only get a raise if the budget is balanced.
The Liberals face an $11.7-billion deficit, and say freezing the pay of politicians and their non-unionized political staff is the government’s way of leading by example.
Ontario MPPs are supposed to make 75 per cent of what Members of Parliament make, but have been capped at $116,500 a year for the past five years.
MPs got a 1.6 per cent raise in 2013-14 for the first time in three years, and have a base pay of $160,200. The sources point out MPs also have a pension plan, something MPPs do not have.
The Liberal government attempted to impose a two-year wage freeze on civil servants and more than one million people in Ontario’s broader public sector, but in many cases there were loopholes that allowed some workers to get raises.