Taylor Bachrach, the new NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley can expect an impressive compensation package in his new job.
He, along with 23 other NDP MPs joined a swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa on Nov. 19.
Bachrach is entitled to a salary of $178,900, according to the Parliamentary Members’ Allowances and Services rules.
He was eligible to begin receiving his MP pay on Oct. 21 when he was elected.
As an MP, several insurance plans are available for Bachrach, including life insurance, health and dental care, accident coverage, flight and rail travel ticket insurance and coverage for lost or stolen baggage during trips.
Additional medical insurance is offered for work travel outside Canada or for travel with committees, parliamentary associations and parliamentary delegations.
If Bachrach stays in the job for more than six years he’ll be entitled to a pension. Nineteen per cent of an MP’s salary goes towards the pension and in Bachrach’s case his pension entitlement after one year would be just under $34,000. For regular citizens, 10.2 per cent of pay is set aside for pensions, with the employer and employee each paying half.
If he bows out before six years he will likely receive severance in the amount of half of his salary.
Nathan Cullen, the former MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley is entitled to receive $89,000 in severance, and $82,000 per year in pension.
MPs are entitled to move with their families to Ottawa or to set up a secondary residence in the capital. Moving costs will be reimbursed by the government. Eligible expenses include air or road transportation; shipping of up to two family vehicles; packing, unpacking and moving of furniture and household items; transportation of pets; insurance premiums up to $1,500 for household items; and the installation or removal of appliances, utilities and telecommunications.
“Smithers is still home but obviously I’ll be spending a bunch of time in Ottawa when the House is sitting,” Bachrach told Lakes District News. His family will stay in Smithers for the foreseeable future.
“In a minority parliament like this one there’s a bit less flexibility because every vote counts. When I’m back in the Northwest, I’ll also be working hard to get around to other communities as much as I can.”
All MPs receive a basic office budget of $363,600 that covers employee salaries, service contracts, some operating and service costs and other expenses.
The Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP’s office will receive an additional $45,760 for a geographic supplement intended for constituencies of 200,001 to 500,000 square kilometres in size; and $20,670 for the schedule 3 supplement for constituencies where transportation and communication facilities might be limited.
Travel allowances for MPs are based on a system that gives them 64 travel points per year for parliamentary purposes. One point is equivalent to one round, direct trip by air, road, train or boat between Ottawa and the MP’s constituency, within the constituency and from Ottawa to the provincial capital of the constituency. MPs and their families traveling by plane can fly in business class. MPs’ employees can travel by economy class.
Twenty-five of the points can be used for special trips inside Canada with the MP’s employees. Four of those 25 points can be used for trips to Washington D.C. and two of those four can be used for special trips to New York City for United Nations conferences or meetings.
MPs, their families and employees can also receive free counselling services on a range of issues including personal, family, professional, lifestyle and health and wellness.
Bachrach’s political career began in 2008 when he was elected to the Telkwa town council. He moved to Smithers in 2011 and won the mayoral election in the same year before winning a second term and then third term in October 2018.
He served as mayor until August 2019, when he began to focus on his federal campaign.
Cullen held the MP seat since 2004. He announced on March 1 that he wouldn’t run for re-election.
Blair McBrideMultimedia reporter
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