Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Amos to donate salary increase

CALEB NICKERSON
PONTIAC April 4, 2020
Pontiac MP Will Amos is part of a large group of federal representatives that will be donating their annual salary increase to charity. The 2.1 per cent pay bump came into effect on April 1, boosting the base MP salary from $178,900 to $182,600. For his duties as a Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Amos is paid an additional $17,800.
Amos announced that he would be giving his additional pay to charities in his riding via social media on April 4. He said that he hadn’t chosen which organizations would be receiving his money, as he needed to assess where it was needed most.
“I haven’t made decisions on exactly which organizations, in part because I really need to see where government funding is flowing and where some groups are not getting it,” he said in a phone interview on April 9. “As these programs … hit the ground, it will become more clear where there is need, and then I’ll be able to make some personal decisions based on that.”
“I was fairly quick off the draw on that one … I didn’t need to get any memo from the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation to know what was the right thing to do,” he added. “Regardless of COVID-19, I’m not the kind of guy that tries to make a lot of political hay out of my family’s donations. We make significant gifts to a number of organizations, both local, regional and national. Because I’m a public figure, I usually do this in an anonymous fashion because… I don’t want to ever be accused of playing favourites.”
The structure of salary increases was established in 2005, and increases at the same time every year based on the average increase negotiated by major bargaining units in the private sector. Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the government froze salaries from 2010 to 2013 in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, but a similar change would need the approval of a motion in parliament. So far, more than 100 representatives from all parties have vowed to donate their pay bumps to charity. Amos said that he was open to suggestions, but had yet to see any legislative proposal from any party in regards to a pay freeze.
“I haven’t seen any [proposals] come forward,” he said. “These days, suggestions that are made by government or opposition parties, are welcome.”
He said that he has been working on relief funding for non-profit groups across the country with industry group Community Foundations Canada.
“We need to address that before we lose pillars of our civil society,” he said.

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