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CHEWING OVER A POLICING CAREER: Kamloops RCMP dog Norco, on the leash of handler Cpl. Ian Jaques, latches onto the arm of 17-year-old Kindra Maricle during training this week at the new Kamloops FRIDAY RCMP Youth Academy at the former Westyde elementary campus. Turn to page A13 for the full story. Dave Eagles/KTW K A M L O O P S THIS WEEK Friday, May 6, 2011 X Volume 24 No. 36 X 30 cents at Newsstands MP McLeod will not say if she favours pension plan By Jeremy Deutsch STAFF REPORTER The dramatic election results on May 2 have produced a tidal wave of retired or deposed MPs who are in line for prodigious pension payouts. But, as Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Conservative MP Cathy McLeod heads back to Ottawa for her second term, large pensions for federal politicians isn’t an issue she wants to discuss. When asked by KTW if she thought the current MP pension scheme was fair, McLeod said she won’t speak to pensions specifically. “We need to be looking across government in terms of what we’re doing and where we’re going and how we’re going to get back to a balanced budget,” she said. The current pension plan for MPs has taxpayers contributing $4 for every dollar contributed by an MP. MPs are eligible for their pensions after serving six years. Nine defeated or retiring MPs from B.C. are set to collect a combined $18.6 million in pension benefits now that they are out of office. All qualifying B.C. MPs can opt to start col- lecting their pensions immediately. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) argued the pension system for federal politicians is too rich. It favours a dollar-for-dollar matching formula now used in Saskatchewan and Ontario. McLeod wouldn’t tell KTW if she favoured the dollar-for-dollar formula, noting there hasn’t been a discussion in her government to change the formula. CTF national research director Derek Fildebrandt said former MPs turfed by voters this week or who chose to retire “should find a nice soft landing with their golden parachute. “The vast majority of Canadians working in the private sector have no private pension plan of their own and those few who do normally have defined-contribution, RRSP-style plans,” Fildebrandt said. “Most Canadians have to save for their retirements the old-fashion way. MPs, by contrast, are guaranteed a steady payout regardless of how investments and the market perform.” The biggest payout will go to Liberal MP Keith Martin, who retired from his EsquimaltJuan de Fuca seat with a pension that adds up to $3.9 million. Conservative MP Gary Lunn, defeated by Watch her Smile blossom Green Party Leader Elizabeth May in SaanichGulf Islands, leaves with $2.2-million in future pension entitlements. Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh, defeated in Vancouver South, leaves with a pension worth $830,000. Conservatives Jay Hill (Prince George-Peace River) and Chuck Strahl (Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon), both retired from federal politics with $3.3-million pensions. Tory MP John Cummins (Delta-Richmond East), who retired from federal politics to head the B.C. Conservative Party, now gets a pension worth $1.33 million. Conservative retiree Stockwell Day (Okanagan-Coquihalla) gets a package worth $1.67 million, Kootenay-Columbia Tory MP Jim Abbott retires with $1.36 million and the NDP’s Bill Siksay (Burnaby-Douglas) takes away $732,000. Two MPs defeated in Monday’s federal election — Conservative Dona Cadman (Surrey North) and Liberal Sukh Dhaliwal (NewtonNorth Delta) — did not serve the minimum six years to qualify for the MP pension. Instead, they will receive $79,000 in severance pay. ANNUAL PENSION PAYOUTS A sampling of what some ertswhile B.C. MPs will pocket • Chuck Strahl (Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon): Age: 54 First elected/years served: 1993/18 Annual pension: $119,320 • Jay Hill (Prince George-Peace River): Age: 59 First elected/years served: 1993/18 Annual pension: $111,837 • Keith Martin (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca): 1993/18 Age: 51 First elected/years served: 1993/18 Annual pension: $102,308 • Stockwell Day (Okanagan/Coquihalla): Age: 61 First elected/years served: 2000/11 Annual pension: $64,760 DOWNTOWN ~ 811 Victoria Street • 250.372.3744 ABERDEEN ~ 1517 Hugh Allen Dr. • 250.372.3705 GRILL & CHILL ~ 1075 - 8th Street • 250.554.4390 DQ and the ellipse shaped logo are trademarks of Am. D.Q. Corp., Mpls, MN © 2010. Celebrate Mother’s Day

Kamloops This Week - Friday, May 6, 2011

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