NDP leader John Horgan speaks to delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention in Whistler Thursday

Horgan blasts ‘shoddy’ municipal pay study

NDP leader John Horgan says leaked report on generous pay hikes 'an insult' to councils before their November elections

WHISTLER – NDP leader John Horgan used his first speech to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention to blast the B.C. government for a report criticizing generous wage hikes for municipal staff.

“The B.C. Liberals are saying to you, you don’t know how to run a peanut stand,” Horgan told delegates at the Whistler Conference Centre Thursday.

Horgan drew applause when he called the report “shoddy, politically motivated” and an “an insult” to mayors, councillors and regional district directors, purposely leaked before the UBCM meetings to embarrass local politicians heading into their November elections.

The Ernst and Young study was released days before the convention by the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation. It calculated that unionized municipal staff received pay increases of 38 per cent between 2001 and 2012, twice as much as unionized provincial staff, and ahead of inflation of 23 per cent during the same period.

The report also highlighted the escalation of senior municipal staff salaries, with city managers in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Abbotsford and Maple Ridge making more than the $230,000 paid to provincial deputy ministers.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong acknowledged that there are “some gaps in the data” used in the report, which was compiled without the knowledge or participation of local governments. But he said it is a reminder of how the province balanced its budget starting last year.

“In our case a big part of that is being very disciplined in negotiations on wage settlements,” de Jong said in an interview. “And if you don’t apply that discipline, your cost structure can get out of hand pretty quickly.”

Horgan praised public education and accused the government of “disrespecting” teachers during their recent strike, promising an NDP government would do better.

He praised a study done for the UBCM on the impact of increasing ferry fares, and accused Transportation Minister Todd Stone of replying to it with “a four-page lecture about how things are going to get better with another four per cent increase” and converting the fleet’s largest vessels to use natural gas fuel.

 

Just Posted

Highest earning staff at Fraser-Cascade School District made public

Also board looks into seat belts on school buses, Marv Cope gets road in his memory

Oscar-winning producer J. Miles Dale on filming horror-thriller in Hope

In an exclusive interview, Dale explains why the town plays a large role in Antlers

Tarl rocks Silver Chalice Saturday

After spending summers in Hope visiting his grandmother, musician Tarl returns to… Continue reading

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Vancouver Police look for man in connection to ‘sexually motivated’ assault

Woman says man followed her into an apartment building

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Most Read