Nunavut MLAs rank among top five per cent of Canadian wage earners

Premier records the highest annual salary: $222,725

Nunavut MLAs have disclosed their total pay packages for the period between April 1, 2018, and March 31, 2019. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

The Nunavut legislature’s latest disclosure of pay information shows that, as in the past, nearly all MLAs fall within the top five per cent of wage earners in Canada and some are close to the top one per cent.

Nunavut MLAs, through the office of the Nunavut Legislative Assembly, this week disclosed their total pay packages for the period between April 1, 2018, and March 31, 2019.

That’s their first full fiscal year since the October 2017 territorial election.

The numbers show that Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq took in the highest salary for that 12-month period in 2018-19: $222,725.

That’s slightly more than the $220,106 that then-premier Peter Taptuna was paid in 2016-17.

The highest paid cabinet ministers were Quttiktuq MLA David Akeeagok, at $204,298; South Baffin MLA David Joanasie, at $203,277; and Cambridge Bay MLA Jeannie Ehaloak, at $203,175.

The lowest-paid member was Iqaluit-Manirajak MLA Adam Arreak Lightstone, at $121,942.

No two MLAs received the same annual amount.

That’s because Nunavut MLAs are compensated under a complex system of payments called “indemnities” and “allowances,” which depend on their duties and where they live.

In 2018-19, every MLA started with a basic indemnity of $103,324 per year.

Added to that are special indemnities for cabinet ministers and the Speaker, and housing allowances for some MLAs.

Regular MLAs also get allowances for time spent chairing certain committees

And MLAs get the same northern allowance payments given to unionized Government of Nunavut workers, ranging from a low of $15,018 for MLAs who reside in Iqaluit and a high of $26,640 for Netsilik MLA Emiliano Qirngnuq, who’s from high-cost Kugaaruk.

Statistics Canada reports that to be in the top five per cent of wage earners for 2017, Canadians needed to have a total income of at least $124,100.

To be in the top one per cent of wage earners for 2017 required an income of just over $236,000 a year, Statistics Canada reports.

The full document, which includes MLA constituency expense reports, and travel and living allowance reports, is attached below.

2018-2019 Annual Report on... by NunatsiaqNews on Scribd

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(16) Comments:

  1. Posted by Chesley on

    Elections and outcomes from elections are overrated at the community level. That being so there are the banks printing money and throwing it into a system gone wrong. A little research will find more and the wealthiest fund managers are telling that it’s sloshing between them and the stock market with practically no improvement to the plight of working class as they get big tax breaks and havens, $ is but a small part of a much larger story.

  2. Posted by Tommy on

    Overpaid underworked “politicians” of Nunavut.

  3. Posted by Jim on

    How can you compare wages without factoring the cost of living? I figure we are ~ 2X a lot of other Canadian sites.

  4. Posted by Nunavutmiut on

    Inuit organizations should post their board and staff salaries too.

    • Posted by Slwd dog on

      The GN should be disclosing, by statute, a sunshine list for all employees over $75000 base salary

      • Posted by Paul Murphy on

        The majority with allowances receive over $75k . But I do believe there is a sunshine list publicized. Not sure when tho and what the dollar value is.

    • Posted by where does the $ go? on

      And ask nti why they create so many new positions with no new results? Who approves this new positions?

  5. Posted by Constituency travel on

    There might be a good reason behind it (but I cant think of one): why did Pat Angnakak dip into the constituency travel fund?(page 19) I don’t understand why a member from Iqaluit needs to go to Ottawa for an entire month (over christmas) for constituency business. Doesn’t look good. Can someone give me a good reason why this would happen?

    • Posted by Marion on

      Also, why did Cathy Towtongie travel from Rankin to Coral Harbor for 4 days??? That’s not her riding. It is her home town tho..
      It’s amazing that this stuff is permitted. Who signs off on this??? If theres a good reason for the travel then the MLA should state the reason. Otherwise we are left to speculate.

    • Posted by Read between the Lines on

      Pat has a constituent in Ottawa. Her mother. Family first, its the Inuit way.

      • Posted by Nepotism on

        Taking taxpayer money to visit family is seedy as heck, especially when you get paid very well.

  6. Posted by Piitaqanngi on

    How about the MLA for Aggu. He lives in Iqaluit but receives the Northern Allowance for one living in Igloolik.

  7. Posted by Putuguk on

    One consequence of higher salaries for politicians that evidence shows is the higher the salary, the higher the education level, professional standing and level of political experience that politicians have. It is an elite driven model that is at odds with the values and composition of Nunavut society.

    A theory behind offering high salaries is that it entices highly motivated individuals that are already enjoying high incomes at their normal vocation, (usually business, finance or legal) for whom public service would be financially unattractive. We often have uncontested elections in Nunavut, and have very few politicians from the private sector, so it is hard to believe this works for us in practice.

    Another theory behind offering high salaries for politicians is that counteracts corruption. That is, a highly paid politician should be less likely to risk her career to illegally gain more by virtue of their position of authority. This assumes that Nunavut politicians are primarily motivated towards personal gain and ignores nepotism which is a far greater problem for us. No matter how much money a politician makes, they could and do still feel compelled to unfairly favor their extended family.

    Given our circumstances. It is hard to see why our politicians are paid so much.

  8. Posted by Former Insider on

    Putuguk,
    If you are concerned that politicians in Nunavut are being paid too much, take a look at their “retirement” packages. Those are even worse.

  9. Posted by Unsure on

    line by line. David’s family travel and such expenditures. good this is transparency. Suggestion: use Capitol suites (or other) or buy a hotel or apartment building (long-range cost effective investment) and no longer use homes for the Ministers who rarely stay in iqaluit. How many days would a Minister “live” in Iqaluit if they retain a home elsewhere? There should be an investigation for bettering the finances and funding homelessness.

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