Former Québec Solidaire spokesperson Amir Khadir is getting ready to give his severance pay of $90,000 to community groups in his Montreal-area riding of Mercier.
This is the first time a former MNA has decided to give away his pay in this way.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Khadir, the 57-year-old medical specialist said he did not need the money.
It will be divided into three amounts: $20,000 and three $10,000 scholarships.
Khadir was Québec Solidaire’s first elected MNA, as well as the party’s co-founder. He said he is ready, as of Monday, to start receiving proposals for projects from community groups or recognized charities.
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The requests must be well structured and respond to a community need.
Khadir said he wants to send a message to the elected officials at the National Assembly.
“If people who, like me, leave (politics) and immediately return to work as a lawyer, engineer or doctor and have a source of income, I do not see why they should need this money,” he said.
The transitional allowance for MNAs who resign during their term has since been eliminated, except for health or family reasons.
Members who are defeated in an election or who complete a term without being a candidate for the next election are still eligible.
The allowance is paid at the end of the member’s term and at his request, either in one installment or over a period of up to 36 months.
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“We have to put the idea in the minds of our colleagues that this is a transitional allowance, and not as a bonus to which we are entitled to put in our pockets whatever our circumstances,” Khadir argued.
“The laws could change, the National Assembly could think about setting up a rule…that takes into account the real possibility of finding a job. (…) It can to be an allocation that is not given in bulk.”
Khadir represented the riding of Mercier for ten years, between 2008 and 2018.
Born in Tehran, Iran, he holds a doctorate in medicine from Université Laval and a Master’s degree in physics from McGill University. He is a doctor specializing in infectious microbiology.