Halifax regional councillors vote against salary freeze

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WATCH: Councillors in Halifax voted against a salary freeze, as well as how their salaries are calculated. Marieke Walsh reports – Mar 9, 2016

Halifax regional councillors voted against freezing their salaries and changing the way their salaries are calculated.

At issue was whether councillors should  link their salaries to the local economy and average salary in Halifax, as recommended by an independent committee. It would have led to a wage freeze for councillors until the average salary in Halifax caught up.

But the motion was narrowly defeated 8-7. Instead, councillors will maintain the status quo and base their salaries on those of councils in other Canadian cities.

The report was called for following a motion from Coun. Steve Craig in November 2014. The independent review included Auditor General Larry Munroe and four other committee members. Munroe wasn’t a voting member on the committee and he says his main role was to make sure the volunteer committee had access to his office’s research help.

The report called for the salaries of council to be linked to the average salary of Halifax residents, plus a 25 per cent top-up.

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The feisty debate lasted four hours and led to Mayor Mike Savage and Coun. Waye Mason, questioning councillors’ etiquette and respect for the members of the committee who wrote the report.

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