Surrey-Cloverdale B.C. Liberal MLA Kevin Falcon

‘Gold-plated’ pensions a balm for election losers

Retirees, defeated MLAs to share $26 million in payouts

A long list of departing MLAs – both Liberals and New Democrats – are now in line for lucrative pensions, whether they retired voluntarily or were defeated at the polls.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation estimates the total payouts to MLAs who didn’t win or seek re-election could top $26 million. The government injects $4 for every dollar politicians contribute, and the resulting pensions are also inflation adjusted.

“The MLA pension payout ATM is spitting out cash at a rate taxpayers can only dream of,” CTF B.C. director Jordan Bateman said. “A dozen former MLAs will soon join the million-dollar pension club – while most of us are scraping together every nickel we can find for our own retirements.”

Departing NDP MLAs in the Lower Mainland and their estimated payouts to age 80 include: Surrey-Fleetwood NDP MLA Jagrup Brar ($555,000), Delta North NDP MLA Guy Gentner ($500,000), Coquitlam-Maillardville’s Diane Thorne ($461,000) and Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge MLA Michael Sather ($490,000). Several others, including Port Moody-Coquitlam by-election winner Joe Trasolini, get nothing because they have less than the six years of service required to qualify.

Outgoing Liberal MLAs include: Gordon Campbell in Vancouver-Point Grey ($1.7 million),  Colin Hansen in Vancouver-Quilchena ($1.54 million), Barry Penner in Chilliwack-Hope ($1.35 million), Kevin Falcon in Surrey-Cloverdale ($1.09 million), Randy Hawes in Abbotsford-Mission ($847,000), Harry Bloy in Burnaby-Lougheed ($720,000), Chilliwack’s John Les ($835,000), Surrey-Tynehead’s Dave Hayer ($824,000) and Joan McIntyre in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky ($568,000).

Defeated Abbotsford independent John Van Dongen, who served for years as a B.C. Liberal, exits with a pension valued at $1.48 million.

First-year payouts range from $30,000 to as much as $98,000 in Campbell’s case.

Exiting MLAs also get up to 15 months of severance at the $101,859 MLA annual salary and includes a top-up if the politician takes a job at less than six figures. They’re also eligible for up to $9,000 in “training” funds.

“Not only do these MLAs receive overly generous pensions, they get a severance package and training money,” Bateman said. “Taxpayers are on the hook for millions just to transition these politicians back to the real world.”

He noted the B.C. Liberals ran against “gold-plated” pensions in 1996 and then NDP premier Glen Clark brought in a fairer, dollar-for-dollar system. But the Liberals in 2007 brought back ultra-generous pensions and let MLAs buy back missing years of service.

The CTF didn’t include Premier Christy Clark in its calculation, but says if she doesn’t get a seat elsewhere her lifetime pension would be $1.03 million.

Surrey’s Jagrup Brar was one of the defeated NDP MLAs who will now receive a pension estimated to be worth $555,000. Brar is pictured above in January of 2012, when he agreed to live on welfare for a month.

Just Posted

Mission author to sign copies of her first book

Wendy Fraser will be at Totally Book-ish in the Junction Mall on Nov. 21

BREAKING: Vehicle fire on Highway 1 between Chilliwack and Abbotsford

One westbound lane blocked after 11:30 a.m. on Friday leading to traffic delays

Toxic smell returns to Abbotsford elementary school raising health concerns for students, teachers and parents

King Traditional Elementary suffers daily from neighbouring waste-storage facility’s stench

UFV Town and Gown dinner raises more than $245,000

Of the total raised, $100,000 will go toward a new Peace and Reconciliation Centre

Is the drinking water in Mission schools safe?

‘No students or staff are drinking lead-impacted water,’ says superintendent Angus Wilson

VIDEO: Disney Plus adds disclaimer about racist stereotypes

Disney’s disclaimer is a good way to begin discussion about the larger issue of racism

New case of vaping-related illness in Quebec brings national total to 8

Quebec health minister considering tightening the rules around vaping products

Greens to vote against Liberal throne speech unless carbon targets toughened: May

Green leader Elizabeth May and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Friday, discussing common ground

Falling tree crushes front of SUV carrying Surrey woman, granddaughters

Linda Simpson wants city to assess safety of roadside trees, following harrowing experience

First Nations ‘optimistic’ about road upgrades after Horgan visits site of fatal bus crash

Premier travelled Bamfield Main road, where bus flipped last September and two students were killed

Delays seen on some Metro Vancouver bus routes as transit strike ramps up

According to TransLink, routes in downtown Vancouver are bearing the brunt of the delays

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

B.C. man facing 18 charges after hidden camera found in Kelowna winery washroom

The camera was found at Summerhill Winery on Aug. 23

Most Read