Few images could inspire as much disgust as a bunch of fat-cat politicians laughing at the suggestion of pay cuts while hundreds of thousands of their constituents struggle with the stinging reality of job loss. But Ontarians didn’t have to use their imaginations last week because this loathsome spectacle was on full display in the provincial legislature.
On Feb. 17, an Ontario member of provincial parliament (MPP), Roman Baber, put forth a private member’s bill calling on all Ontario MPPs to take a pay cut. The bill, entitled the We Are All In This Together Act, would reduce all 124 Ontario MPPs’ salaries to $500 per week (the same amount as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit) while the province’s emergency orders remained in place. Currently, Ontario MPPs are paid a salary of about $2,235 each week ($116,550 per year) before taxes.