Whitehorse Daily Star

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Currie Dixon

Yukon Party regime would freeze all MLAs’ salaries

A future Yukon Party government would freeze the pay and benefits of cabinet ministers and all 19 MLAs until the economy can fully reopen again.

By Whitehorse Star on September 11, 2020

A future Yukon Party government would freeze the pay and benefits of cabinet ministers and all 19 MLAs until the economy can fully reopen again.

That’s a pledge party leader Currie Dixon made Wednesday.

“Yukoners are losing their jobs, people are forgoing wage increases, and businesses are taking stock if they will even survive the winter,” said Dixon, who assumed the leadership in May.

“Everyone recognizes that these restrictions are necessary for public health, but it is simply not fair that the private sector is bearing the brunt of the economic impacts while cabinet ministers and MLAs do not do their part.

“If we are truly in this together, then we need to lead by example.”

Each Yukon MLA earns an annual base indemnity of $81,000, plus just over $20,000 per year for expenses.

In approximate figures, cabinet ministers earn an additional $43,700 in annual salary, while the premier takes home another $65,400 annually.

The leader of the official Opposition earns an additional $43,656 per year; the Speaker $40,549; and the third party leader $21,685.

The August job numbers from the Yukon Bureau of Statistics “paint a dire picture for the Yukon,” the Yukon Party said.

“Employment has decreased by 2,300 people compared to this time last year.

“Meanwhile, unemployment has increased by 1,100 over the same time period. This represents a massive 183-per-cent increase in unemployment in the territory in just one year.”

In real terms, the opposition party added, “this means Yukoners have lost their jobs, businesses have closed, and people are struggling to pay bills.

“Many more Yukoners working in the private sector have seen their wages or hours reduced as businesses struggle to survive the current restrictions on the economy.

“Several businesses are expecting even more job losses and financial struggles as the territory enters the winter.”

Meanwhile, the part added, the territory’s state of emergency has been extended to December, “and presumably the restrictions on the economy will stay in place until there is a vaccine.

“While these restrictions are in some cases necessary to protect public health, Yukon’s elected leaders need to lead by example.”

Cabinet spokeswoman Janine Workman noted Thursday that MLA and ministerial pay is determined by the legislature’s all-party Members’ Services Board.

“If elected members of the Yukon Party wish to bring this matter to the Members’ Services Board, they are welcome to. To date, they have not,” she said.

The next territorial election must occur by late 2021.

Comments (21)

Up 1 Down 0

Nathan Living on Sep 18, 2020 at 12:40 am

How is the golf course doing?

It may need another 750,000 from the Yukon Party.

Up 10 Down 3

woodcutter on Sep 16, 2020 at 10:13 am

lol - virtue signaling again. I don't see him telling anyone he will roll back the substantial raise in pay that the elected cronies so loudly protested about and the reluctantly accepted just a few short weeks ago. Don't fall for it voters, he's again telling you what you all want to hear and from the responses, which most are so sorely ignorant of real world context, its striking at the usual gaggle of complainers and losers.

Up 11 Down 3

Anton on Sep 15, 2020 at 5:54 pm

Who cares what the so called 'Yukon Party' would do? They were in power for ten years and all they did was make sure that "Friends of the Government" were well looked after.

Up 5 Down 8

Josey Wales on Sep 15, 2020 at 9:28 am

Hey June.. see an error in your participation, shall I illustrate?

You stated the Lispy Ladyboy has a majority government, he does not.
Not certain if you were eluding to arrogance "acting" as a majority mandate, or factually inaccurate..dunno?
Ironically our self professed feminist, is 13 seats short of full power.
Given the status quo, could you imagine what its team would actually do?

I could see it now, interment camps for "re-education" for all European Invaders.
UN offices in every major town, and the race matrix expanded into supremacist laws...oh wait..its daddy did that already.
Dig into the Star archives, I have been brutally consistent and accurate on the damage that idiot will do.

Never thought after that last big global conflict, I'd ever live in a SS Territory rife with jackboots and subjugation of our citizens (most at least..not the elites political or cultural)...boy was ol' Josey ever wrong on that complacent thought.
Hence what we have here today, a collection of segregated and subjugated citizens.
June please carry on...OJW

Up 29 Down 0

Jason on Sep 14, 2020 at 3:15 pm

Maybe the CoW will take note as well? Managers are bringing forward a proposal to raise all management salaries. The top directors (Gau, O'Blenes, Braga, and O'Farrell) will be making over $200k each!!!! That is more than DM's make, at a director level.

What a slap in the face to the union staff who get paid about 20% less on average VS Yg employees, and who management almost locked out a year ago, over a COLA increase.


Up 18 Down 3

Oya on Sep 14, 2020 at 2:06 pm

Grandstanding. If they were serious about this, the ELECTED members would have already put it on the agenda at the Members Services Board for all parties to discuss.

Up 6 Down 8

comen sense on Sep 14, 2020 at 12:42 pm

The difference between a YG employee and a private sector worker s benefit is very different why not scale back on them I've known some very hard-working MLA'S

Up 20 Down 3

iBrian on Sep 14, 2020 at 6:40 am

That’s a good start Currie, then we need to look at why we have Foreign Workers here when several thousand Yukoners took CERB!!!
It’s the same in the south. Tens of thousands of people on CERB around these farms that are tilling their crops back into the ground because their Jamaican and Mexican produce pickers could not make it to Canada this year. Too privileged of a society, can’t even work a honest days labour.
Times are changed, theirs been enough global impact that people’s spending and will to travel in a airplane have dropped.
Even if the gates open tomorrow, we’re still not going to have the tourists we did before. And even less then after 9/11, which saw a lot of Highway lodges close and wheel traffic reduce by 1/3 immediately after.
Then tighter border restrictions, you know to protect us. And from what I hear now, if your not vaccinated, you may be denied entry into a country once a vaccine is created.
My burning question now is, with a Ministers pay, if they are sitting on several agencies, do they get paid per seat or position?
To those going to work, work safe, hundreds of thousands of fellow Canadians depend on our taxes.

Up 21 Down 17

Snowman on Sep 14, 2020 at 1:04 am

Why is the media even covering these meaningless "Yukon" Party announcements?
Last week Dixon said he would require legislative debate during extended Emergency Act measures. The odds of another pandemic or anything remotely similar occurring for another 100 years are slim to none. So it's a pointless thing to do.

Now he says they should freeze MLAs pay and benefits. Another pointless thing since as far as I know, there hasn't been any proposed increases to either of those things.... they are technically "frozen" as we speak.

Here is a rather novel idea Dixon, how about you tell us where you stand on the REAL issues like the carbon tax, like opening up our borders or not, like whether you support the lawsuit put forward by businesses, like whether you think we should build another dam to produce power, like whether you support opening up our schools full time or not. Quit being such a fence sitting chicken and grow a spine.

Whether you support Silver and his Liberal crew or not, at least you know where they stand on these issues. Sheesh. Talk about indecisive.

Up 47 Down 4

Silver Tongued Devil on Sep 12, 2020 at 10:50 pm

Jack and Nicky - It is absolutely ludicrous the level of management in YTG. And yet it remains such a toxic place in full on contravention of its own mandate to create respectful workplaces. The salary dollars committed to mis-management however is staggeringly incomprehensible.

Why so many managers, ADMs, DMs and their minions? You could probably start alphabetically and fire every 2nd manager and their support staff/entourage and not even notice they are missing. You could fire all of the DMs and fire the reams of HR staff - The most useless position in any organization for sure. Studies have demonstrated the supremacy of a simple algorithm over so-called HR consultants to hire quality candidates - It explains a lot about YTG and perhaps all you need to know... Incompetence runs the show.

Up 40 Down 2

Cam on Sep 12, 2020 at 8:10 pm

I agree take a good hard look at some YG managers and programs that money is being poured into and no measurable outcomes. The Wann road project when it had one highly paid manager who is now at the “we only serve those who we can fix” ADS/Mental wellness/escape for wrongdoing program. There is a lot to cut and account for before you have to freeze MLA salaries. Deal with the high paid wrong doers at YG - now that’s a good start and would get my vote.

Up 42 Down 13

Groucho d'North on Sep 12, 2020 at 9:22 am

Yup we're all in this together, a simple phrase heard many times by those trying to connect with the public. Cutting pay is a good start, now work on reducing those gold-plated pensions.
Politcians with empathy- who knew?

Up 74 Down 0

Jack on Sep 12, 2020 at 3:16 am

I would say MLA salaries are not the problem. Soaring salaries at the deputy minister level and department managers are where the problem lies.

Up 31 Down 11

Juniper Jackson on Sep 11, 2020 at 11:04 pm

All of the parties have done quite well for themselves over the years.. but, when a party feathers their own nest, and throws a few feathers the voters way, voters tend to put up with it. Now, the Liberal party is mired in dishonesty and scandals federally, operating a majority government without a sitting government! In the Territory, they are doing the same thing..quietly expanded their borrowing power by *800,000..operating a government when they don't have one. (Did I read Streicker took a vacation from his extended vacation? Wondered where my one third of a feather went). I don't recall THAT going into debate. AND, worse yet, the government not only didn't give voters any feathers, they are taking the feathers we did have. To all those Reds in the parliament.. what do you think is going to happen when you start pushing people farther than they are willing to go? Take note Dixon.. there is a slow burn going on in Whitehorse, indicators showing up in computer warriors.. take a real careful look at which side of the fence you want to park your butt on. Voters? or small special interest groups?

Up 66 Down 2

Nicky on Sep 11, 2020 at 8:49 pm

Freezing all MLAs’ salaries is a good start.
Also freeze the pay and benefits of all senior government bureaucrats from the ADM level up.

Up 38 Down 10

Breanna on Sep 11, 2020 at 8:03 pm

Sounds great - if you really want to do something deal with the corruption and complete lack of accountability within the Yukon government. Spending taxpayers money to fight the Privacy Commissioner and the Wrong Doing office. If you want to really make a difference deal with that, make that promise and keep it. The liberals promised transparency and we got anything but - look at the time and money invested in not cooperating with independent investigations. Some big wrongs need to be acknowledged and remedied- that is the commitment and actual follow through that the Yukon Party should be delivering on. I don’t know about everyone else but I am done with our liberals using our tax money to cover up their wrong doing !! Wann road, group homes, department of justice enough already. Dixon - release the reports. Pull back the curtains on the house of lies. Keep your salary if you do that.

Up 15 Down 11

Philip Gibson on Sep 11, 2020 at 7:16 pm

What a counter productive move. Giving the legislators a financial incentive to “fully re-open the economy” when the decision should be based on science.

Up 38 Down 5

Crunch on Sep 11, 2020 at 6:12 pm

With the amount of government spending and waste which takes place in the Yukon this is the YP red herring? Surely you guys can do better than this. Take a good look around.

Up 51 Down 10

BnR on Sep 11, 2020 at 5:49 pm

Whoah! Bold move Currie.
Now how about an across the board cut of 10% to ALL YG employees, MLAs included?

Up 50 Down 11

JC on Sep 11, 2020 at 4:57 pm

Good news. But since people in the private sector are being forced to take a reduction in their pay, so should the Premier and MLAs. Let's really lead by example.

Up 15 Down 26

Wilf on Sep 11, 2020 at 3:50 pm

There is much virtue among right wingers.

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