ontario news watch

Manitoba Tories say new NDP government is paying political staff higher wages

WINNIPEG — Some new political staff in Manitoba cabinet ministers’ offices are being paid more than backbench members of the legislature.

The NDP government, which is hiring staff after winning last month’s provincial election, is employing some people as directors of ministerial affairs at $130,000 a year.

Kelvin Goertzen, deputy leader of the Opposition Progressive Conservatives, says that is a much higher salary than ministerial staff when the Tories were in power, which normally ranged from $70,000 to $95,000.

Mark Rosner, the premier’s chief of staff, says the salaries are needed to attract and retain people, and recognize the long hours that staff work.

He says the NDP is using its own organizational structure, the NDP and Tory positions are not necessarily the same, and the overall cost of political staff will be comparable in the end.

The base pay for Manitoba legislature members is $103,000, but the premier, cabinet ministers, the Opposition leader and some others get extra money.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2023

The Canadian Press