Remuneration Panel Appointed, Public Consultation Begins
Today, May 30, an independent panel officially begins reviewing the remuneration paid to MLAs.
Pursuant to section 45A of the House of Assembly Act, Keith Bain, Speaker of the House of Assembly, announced the appointment of Ajay Parasram, Burtley Francis and Kyle MacIsaac as members of the panel:
- Ajay Parasram is an associate professor, cross-appointed to the departments of international development studies, history and political science at Dalhousie University; trained in political science and political economy, he researches and teaches about the colonial present
- Burtley Francis is a practicing lawyer and partner with Stewart McKelvey in Halifax; he regularly advises and represents small businesses and national public companies on a broad range of commercial matters; he also sits on the board of directors of the Black Business Initiative and the Federation of African Canadian Economics
- Kyle MacIsaac is a labour and employment lawyer and partner with Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP in Halifax who represents provincially and federally regulated employers in all aspects of workplace law; he appears regularly before labour arbitrators, human rights tribunals, labour boards and workers’ compensation tribunals, as well as all levels of court in various Canadian provinces.
The remuneration panel has the powers of a commission of inquiry pursuant to the Public Inquiries Act and is mandated by law to review the annual amounts paid for the following eight roles:
- Members of the House of Assembly (currently $89,234.90)
- the Speaker (currently $49,046.51)
- the Deputy Speaker (currently $24,523.25)
- the Leader of the Opposition (currently $49,046.51)
- the Leader of any other recognized opposition party (currently $24,523.25)
- the Premier (currently $112,791.20)
- Ministers with portfolio (currently $49,046.51)
- Ministers without portfolio (currently $49,046.51).
The panel’s report is due this summer. The scope of this review is narrower than the last, which occurred in 2014. In addition to fixing the amounts for the above eight roles, the mandate of the previous review included pensions, expenses and allowances. Those matters fall outside of the statutory jurisdiction of the current review and will not be considered by the panel.
To inform their deliberations, the panel is conducting a province-wide public consultation. Residents of Nova Scotia are invited to share their perspectives in writing or in a virtual presentation to the panel.
Written comments may be submitted by email to email@example.com or by mail (postmarked before June 10) to Remuneration Panel, c/o Clerk’s Office, 1st Floor – Province House, P.O. Box 1617, Halifax, N.S., B3J 2Y3.
Nova Scotians can make a 10-minute presentation to the panel on Wednesday, June 8. To schedule, people must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org before 4 p.m. on Monday, June 6, with the following:
- subject line – Presentation
- message content – full name and mailing address of presenter and if presenting on behalf of an organization, its official name