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Taxpayers Federation disappointed with Calgary councillors’ unwillingness to meaningfully tighten their belts

December 17, 2018
Taxpayers Federation disappointed with Calgary councillors’ unwillingness to meaningfully tighten their belts

CALGARY, AB: Today, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling out Calgary city council for failing to tighten its own belt and further reduce councillor salaries. Yesterday, the CTF called on city councillors to reduce their salaries by 10 per cent.

“Calgary councillors passed-up a golden opportunity to truly show Calgarians that they are willing to share in the hardships,” said CTF’s Alberta Director Franco Terrazzano. “It's unfortunate that councillors decided not to further tighten their belts like many people they represent."

Calgary is struggling with the highest unemployment rate of all major Canadian cities. Many households and businesses have seen higher costs from the carbon tax, business and income tax hikes, along with property tax increases (further property tax increases were recently approved in the city’s next budget).

Government employees in Alberta earn a 10 per cent wage premium compared to their counterparts in business. Between 2014 and 2017, total dollars spent on city “salaries, wages and benefits” increased by 15 per cent. Calgary’s mayor and councillors earn $200,500 and $113,416 respectively. According to a 2017 city report, the mayor and councillors earned more than their counterparts in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Mississauga. Other golden benefits at the city of Calgary include:

  • Calgary’s council pension that cost taxpayers more than Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver combined between 2007-2016;
  • Calgary appears to be the only major city in Canada that provides two pensions to its mayor;
  • $10,000 average retirement bonus for city of Calgary employees; and,
  • 236 employees  set to receive three pensions along with hundreds of employees set to receive two pensions.

“Many Calgarians are still struggling and council has yet to show true spending restraint,” said Terrazzano. “There’s a disconnect between council and the people they govern.”

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