Members of the Legislative Assembly won’t be getting any raises this year, although some members felt they ought to get a top-up.
Legislative Assembly spokesperson Nicole Bonnell confirmed May 24 that MLAs only received the 3.4 per cent pay increase needed to account for changes to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
This is still by far the highest pay increase of the past five years: The increase for 2021-22 was 0.7 per cent, and the increase for 2020-21, the second-highest of the past five years, was 1.9 per cent.
Before this increase, each MLA received a salary of $110,761 before deductions, with extra compensation for the premier, ministers, and the speaker and deputy speaker of the house.
This lack of a raise is in line with the most recent report by the Independent Commission to Review Members’ Compensation and Benefits: Published in Dec. 2021, the Commission wrote at the time that it was “not making any recommendation” to change basic salary amounts other than to compensate for changes in the CPI.
”The NWT MLA basic salary is the highest of the Territorial governments and the smaller provinces (New
Brunswick (NB), Nova Scotia (NS), Prince Edward Island (PEI), and Newfoundland / Labrador (NL)).”
In fact, MLAs technically received a salary reduction of $4,000, although this was replaced by a $2,000 stipend for sitting on a standing committee, with a maximum of $4,000 for two committee seats. This is in line with a recommendation in the report that members ought to participate in at least two standing committees.
The recommendation was based in part on interviews with MLAs: During these interviews, the report says, some MLAs suggested the basic salary be increased. Some noted that they “made more in their jobs prior to becoming a politician” while some argued their pay should be increased because of previous experience in a government job.
“Almost without exception, the MLAs interviewed recommended that the allowances for the Premier, Ministers and Speaker were adequate and not excessive given the work requirements and time commitments,” the report reads.