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What Queen's Park "severance policy" is Patrick Brown talking about? We have a copy

October 19, 2018
What Queen's Park

On October 18, CBC broke a story that ousted Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown had spent $292,451 in the final weeks before the june provincial election. This was more than he spent over 12 months the year prior.

Of particular note was that Mr. Brown, who at the time was sitting as an independent after his ouster from PC caucus, spent $206,956 on staff. And that he hired five addition staff for a full staff of ten in the weeks before the election. This is far and above what other MPPs have as staff, let alone MPPs who have resigned from office. After all, Mr. Brown had made it clear he would not be running again.

Mr. Brown explained these eye-popping numbers by saying "[a]ll my staff were legally and morally entitled to severance in my transition from leader of the Official Opposition to MPP to stepping down at the last general election," Brown said in a text to CBC News. "They were paid by the Ontario Legislature in accordance with the policy regarding severance for staff of departing MPPs and cabinet ministers."

We have obtained a copy of that Queen's Park severence policy.

The policy makes it clear that MPP staff are only eligible for severance if they have worked for the MPP for 1 year, and even then, they are only eligible for 1 week of severence for every year of service. Since Mr. Brown was only elected to Queen's Park in September 2015, the most his staff would be eligible for in severence is 3 weeks.

But the policy does state that an MPP can elect to apply "enhanced severence", which comes out of their global budget. If this is what Mr. Brown did, it means he bled his entire year budget dry. And the taxpayers along with it.

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