Dorian Baxter commits to returning 50% of MP pay to riding! What about his pension benefits?

Thought I would do a post from this comment form Dorian Baxter:

As already indicated, if elected, I have made a legal commitment to inject half my MP’s salary back into the Riding to assist the battle against poverty. Given the fact that when all an MP’s income from all sources (including perks) is added together it is in excess of half a million dollars, I will be asking all MP’s to do the same and “lead by example”! In this time of economic hardship it is “unconscionable” to continue to “over-pay” politicians who keep voting themselves raises that generally go totally un-noticed by the general populace!

This compensation of our MPs is worthy of discussion. Mr. Baxter speaks of his “salary” (I assume that he is talking about giving back 50% of his after tax salary). But, the salary is NOT the real reason that the job of MP is so lucrative. What is the real reason?

It’s the pension stupid!!

Canadian MPs are paid twice!

In fact, the pensions of Canadian MPs  are so lucrative that they provide a reason to enter politics! This has been a recent subject of discussion. According to the CBC:

The advocacy group says that officially, for every dollar that MPs pay into their own pension fund, taxpayers contribute $5. But the CTF says in reality, taxpayers pay closer to $23. That figure takes into account the guaranteed 10.4 per cent interest rate on the fund, which Thomas says means that taxpayers are on the hook for more than they realize.

The 10.4 per cent interest rate is guaranteed in law and because the fund is not invested in the markets, it’s not subject to the same fluctuations as most Canadians’ pensions.

“This outrageous rate means they’ve basically got the best performing pension over 10 years on the planet,” said Thomas, adding that it has outperformed the Canada Pension Plan by 60 per cent over the last 10 years.

The CTF says that the interest rate return means taxpayers are paying an additional $248,668 into the fund, per MP, on top of the dollar contribution.

$102 million to MP pensions each year

When you combine the dollar contribution and the guaranteed interest rate return, taxpayers contribute a total of $102 million to the fund every year, while MPs hand over about $4.5 million, according to the CTF’s calculations.

MPs are eligible for the pension after serving at least six years in the House of Commons and can start collecting it when they turn 55.

Thirty-nine MPs who were elected in 2006 will become eligible for the MP pension plan on Monday, and the CTF says they will be eligible for a collective $1.9 million in annual pensions starting in 2015.

In the hierarchy of pensions it’s like this. We have:

– private section pensions at the bottom

– government employee pensions in the middle

– MP pensions at the top

(And then the huge numbers of Canadians who have no pensions at all.)

The pensions of MPs provide  a strong incentive for people to enter politics. The pensions are so good, that MPs should receive NO salary at all! In fact, I once heard somebody say that he was considering entering politics because of the pensions! The pension benefits are so good, that many people would do the job of MP for free. The dislike of the Harper Government has turned many Canadians into activists. In fairness, the Harper Government is proposing to reform MP pensions.

Young people are always thinking about their careers. It is natural to consider potential compensation.

There was a time when they heard: “Go west young man!”

In the 1960’s movie “The Graduate” the main character was given one word of career advice: “plastics”

In today’s world, if considering compensation, the advice should be: Go government and hope to become an MP!

Toronto Danforth needs an Independent Candidate in this election. Now that you see what’s in it for you, there should be a stampede to get on the ballot!

I applaud Dorian Baxter for offering to return 50% of his salary to the riding. I also call upon the other candidates to match his commitment!

Perhaps you should vote for the candidate that you think is most deserving of the pension?

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9 thoughts on “Dorian Baxter commits to returning 50% of MP pay to riding! What about his pension benefits?”

  1. First of all I am delighted that you have seen fit to comment on this issue and I am most impressed with the very accurate information you have provided to the Toronto/Danforth Riding with regard to this whole MP pension fiasco! Just for the record I placed my vote for the third option you offered in the “Pension Poll” (I don’t believe that an MP’s pension should be any different from that of any other government employee)…hopefully that lays to rest any argument that I am running in this By-election for any reason other than to protect, preserve, uphold and advance the “socially progressive rights” of those who live in Toronto/Danforth in particular and Canada in general!

    There is no doubt that the Harper Regime needs to back off in it’s suggested cuts to the much needed Canada and “Old Age” Pension Plans and they should be looking at re-writing the laws that that guarantee them the 10.4% no matter what! Given, the lucrative feathering of the MP Pension nests and the vast array of Canadians with no pensions at all it is time that a “Strong Representative of the People” was sent to Ottawa to “DEMAND” the necessary changes!!! I can and will be that “Strong Representative of the People” if the people of Toronto/Danforth will trust me with their votes!!!

    Your argument to vote “Independent” applies also to me! The “Progressive Canadian Party” has clearly written in it’s constitution that MP’s must be always allowed to place the needs of their constituents above petty Party issues! This frees me to have ALL the positive attributes of an “Independent Candidate” with the additional advantages of the full weight of the oldest political party in Canada…the “Progressive” Canadian (PC) Party of Sir John MacDonald!

    Respectfully submitted,

    Dorian Baxter B.A., O.T.C., M.Div.

  2. Thanks Dorian – appreciate your comment – keep them coming. Was particularly interested in this:

    “Your argument to vote “Independent” applies also to me! The “Progressive Canadian Party” has clearly written in it’s constitution that MP’s must be always allowed to place the needs of their constituents above petty Party issues! This frees me to have ALL the positive attributes of an “Independent Candidate” with the additional advantages of the full weight of the oldest political party in Canada…the “Progressive” Canadian (PC) Party of Sir John MacDonald!”

    Why do you choose to align yourself with any political party if your regard yourself as an Independent (at least in the sense people before party)?

  3. Thank “YOU” for running such an astute “blog” with such assiduity and accuracy!!! The short answer is that I truly believe in the “Progressive” thrust on a national level that Sir John A. MacDonald alluded to for the first time in 1854. I am very interested in standing on guard for the rights of the people of Toronto/Danforth in particular and believe me I am a strong voice and will be ferocious in advancing their constituency rights! However, I also am anxious to stand on guard for the rights of ALL Canadians in general, hence my choice of the “Progressive Canadian Party” the Party of Confederation!!!

    Canada is the greatest country in the world and I truly believe that we are a nation first with provincial concerns that should unite us as a family as opposed to the Neocons who seem to delight in “dividing” the provinces against each other! We truly are the tangible manifestation of “Unity in Diversity”, provincially, multiculturally and nationally! I hope this helps!

    Respectfully submitted,

    Dorian Baxter B.A., O.T.C., M.Div.
    Progressive Canadian (PC) Party Candidate
    Re: March 19th. Toronto/Danforth By-election

    Tragically the Harper Regime is proving to be the party of “De-Confederation”

  4. Great response. The emphasis on Canada as a whole reminds me of the Trudeau Liberals – definitely a time of more national pride and patriotism.

    I think this is shaping up to be a very exciting election. There are some very very good candidates. This race is wide open and anybody who runs a strong campaign can have a strong impact on the result (either by winning or taking votes away from any presumptive front runners).

    Hope you bring passion, energy and results to your campaign! And please continue to leave comments on the blog.

  5. Thank you very much!!! This is most encouraging….I liked your mention of Trudeau…I want to clearly state that as a candidate in this By-election I am totally committed to that amazing phrase Pierre Trudeau coined when he boldly declared his pursuit of a “Just Society For All Canadians”! Remembering that all that is required for evil to triumph over good is for good people to do nothing, I am commited to “Do Something” to stand on guard for the people of Toronto/Danforth in particular and the people of Canada in general!!! In my view there is only one thing better than being a Canadian and that is being a “Progressive Canadian”! 🙂

    Respectfully submitted,

    Dorian Baxter B.A., O.T.C., M.Div.
    Progressive Canadian (PC) Party Candidate
    Re: March 19th. Toronto/Danforth By-election

  6. Hi Dorian:

    A “Just Society For All Canadians”. I am assuming that you view the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a “constitutional confirmation” of he goal of a “Just Society For All Canadians”. I note your statement yesterday in the Cornwall Free Press, where you suggest that the Harper Government is not attuned to human rights (if I am understanding this correctly).

    Furthermore, the purpose of the Charter of Rights is to protect Canadians from the actions of governments. To put in another way, the Harper Government, as a majority government has great discretion. But, they must still govern subject to the Charter of Rights. Do you have any thoughts on this?

    I liked your point that all that is necessary for evil to triumph (and I an NOT saying that I think the Harper government is evil), is that good men do nothing. One way that good men do nothing is by NOT exercising their right to vote.We are suffering from a lot of “voter apathy” in Canada. How can we get the residents of Toronto Danforth “fired up” for this election?

    Speaking of your point that “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing, I am reminded of the poem by Reverend Martin Niemoller of the same name, “First They Came for…”

    “In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

    — by Martin Niemöller, prominent German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor, best known as the author of the poem First they came….

    http://thecounterpunch.hubpages.com/hub/Martin_Niemoller

    So, needless to say voters must be vigilant!

    Thanks very much for your comment!

  7. Wow!!! I think you ought to register as a candidate….with your insight and remarkable ability to grasp just what is going on with Mr. Harper’s “Neocons” and their apparent, complete disregard for the “Charter”….you would definitely have my vote!!! 🙂

    In answer to your question as to how we can combat voter apathy, I must say that this Toronto/Danforth Debate Blog is a gigantic step in the right direction and all those responsible for this blog need to be commended!

    Perhaps the most important ingredient in attempting to successfully get the constituents of Toronto/Danforth “fired-up” is precisely what you are doing….communicating, providing civilized dialogue and promoting intelligent discussion of key issues! I am particularly impressed with your exhortation for voters to vote for “the candidate” not the Party!!!

    I also believe another way to get away from voter apathy in future is to lower the voting age to 16 years of age! We allow 16 year-olds to drive cars, surely they should have a say in the choice of leadership!

    To conclude, if we can point out the gigantic importance and significance of this By-election and how we in the PC Party feel it should be considered a referendum on the Harper Regime, I truly believe people would come out in droves! The real key, and challenge is creating awareness and inculcating the imperative responsibility and duty we as Canadians have to exercise our right to vote!

    Thanks again for all the superb responses!

    Respectfully submitted,

    Dorian A. Baxter B.A., O.T.C., M.Div.
    Progressive Canadian (PC) Party Candidate
    Re: March 19th. Toronto/Danforth By-election

  8. Thanks for the encouragement. While we are having this discussion, the Globe reported on an interesting judicial decision regarding minimum sentencing. Now as you know the Harper Government is marketing itself as being “tough on crime”. One of the evils that they want to cure is the idea of “judicial discretion” for certain types of crimes – including gun related crimes. Now, the mindless application of minimum sentencing (without regard to the facts) can lead to great injustice. What follows is a link to a very interesting article in yesterday’s Globe. The Judge wrote a very courageous decision in pointing out (at least as I read the commentary on the decision) that the application of a minimum sentencing guideline can violate the Charter of Rights. Have a look at this – would be interested in your thoughts.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/editorials/gun-case-shows-danger-of-mandatory-minimum-sentencing/article2338332/

    Although I think the Harper Government has (in many respects) done a good job as managers of the country, they are dangerous when it comes to respect for the Charter of Rights (which is vital). I have the impression that the current Government either:

    A. Does not think that rights matter; or

    B. Thinks that only Conservatives should have rights.

    Another very disturbing aspect of this was revealed in their proposals for how to select judges. I am referring to the idea that the police ought to be involved in the selection of judges. Incredible. It’s as though they think the purpose of the judicial system is to to convict people of crimes rather than to ensure a process to determine whether people have committed crimes.

    In any case, I thought the idea of striking down minimum sentencing laws as a violation of the Charter was a wonderful thing. And for the record: I don’t like crime and I do think that criminals should be punished. It’s just that the process for doing this must be fair and something that we as a society can live with. There are, (as you know) lots of people who have been unjustly convicted.

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