MLAs gorge while elders struggle


Imagine. I had just sent a letter to the editor to your newspaper regarding the MLAs’ pension grab. Imagine again my surprise when I tuned into CBC Iqaluit at 4:30 this morning, only to hear that the Legislative Assembly in Iqaluit had hijacked Nunavummiut again with the secret passage of transitional packages to MLAs.

Six years pay for every year served! How wonderful. I have nothing against severance pay in the strictest sense of its application, but this bill again smacks of a money-grab by our elected officials.

What is severance pay? It is the act of compensating an employee on termination of his or her contract, and this is fair. However, MLAs, no matter how they may slant it, are not our employees. They are representatives of the people.

If an MLA chooses not to seek re-election, or is turfed out by the voters, he or she is deemed not to have performed the tasks of an MLA in a manner that is acceptable to the electorate. Not fired, just rejected.

Speaker Kevin O’Brien once more jumps into the fray, stating that almost all other provinces and territories have this kind of package for MLAs. Well, at the risk of being repetitive, we, meaning Nunavummiut were promised a different kind of government, by the people, for the people. What happened here? Did I miss something? I don’t think so.

One more point. MLAs have continually harped on the need to consult our elders. I follow this advice and I would like to think that our MLAs do so too.

Where is the transitional package for these elders who have constantly given of their time and energy in an attempt to keep our MLAs on the straight and narrow?

It appears to me that our MLAs are eager to seek advice, but are reluctant to heed the advice. In the mean-time, while the MLAs gorge at the trough, some of our elders are having a very difficult time just trying to survive.

Shame on all of you.
Tom Brown
Cambridge Bay

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