The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is bringing to light the difference in pensions between councillors in Calgary and Edmonton
Following a freedom of information request, they say retired Calgary councillors get about five times the compensation than Edmonton’s
CTF Alberta Director Colin Craig says over the last ten years, Calgary taxpayers paid over $6.1 million in pensions to councillors
“While in Edmonton, taxpayers there had to spend about $1.3 million for their city council’s pension. The difference really lies in the structure of the type of pension benefits that are offered. Edmonton just simply has a much, much more reasonable plan that is more fair for taxpayers.”
Craig says the Calgary pension includes a major contribution from the city, over 18 per cent, while councillors contribute 9 per cent. The mayor also qualifies for an extra level of benefits.
Edmonton also created a citizen’s committee to look at the matter and help solve the issue themselves.
“They actually looked at the type of plan that Calgary has and other cities, and they said its just not reasonable for politicians. So we think that Edmonton really is on the right track in terms of the types of benefits they offer and we think Calgary should switch over to that model.”
Craig adds this isn’t about removing pensions for councillors, but about making them easier to swallow for taxpayers.
Rookie Councillor Jeromy Farkas earned praise from the CTF after saying he would forego his pension, but Craig adds this isn’t the only option.
“Keep all the benefits that they’ve earned to date and then say, beginning next year, shift over to the Edmonton approach.”
The CTF hopes by bringing this to light, Calgarians will call for change from City Hall.