Within Quebec Premier Francois Legault’s Coalition Avenir Quebec caucus, the most prestigious and best-paid jobs most often go to men.
Of 75 legislature members, 65 of them — 42 men and 23 women –have extra functions that earn them a boost in pay.
While the pay scale varies according to the functions fulfilled, there are more men than women at every level of extra pay, according to an analysis of the legislature members’ salaries carried out by The Canadian Press.
At a time when all politicians tout gender parity and pay equality, the size of a politician’s wallet remains a good measure of progress. And in Legault’s party, legislature members who wear suits and ties are more likely to outearn their female counterparts.
In 2019, women make up 44 per cent of the legislature members who income reaches $167,482, 33 per cent of those at the $129,000 level, 25 per cent of those making $119,630 and 30 per cent of those whose salaries reach $114,845.
The most prestigious and well-paid parliamentary roles (president of the National Assembly, caucus president, chief whip, parliamentary leader) are all served by men.
Women serve some lesser roles, including assistant to the whip or assistant to the president, with a lower pay to match.
Others can hope for a parliamentary appointment, which is often seen as a consolation prize for those not tapped to be part of cabinet.
The only level of the pay scale dominated by women is the lowest one, reserved for legislature members making a base salary, which currently sits at $95,704.
Among the Coalition Avenir Quebec’s team, 20 per cent of women weren’t offered a special role, compared to eight per cent of men.
Legault’s cabinet is currently made up of 14 men and 12 women. When the caucus president, chief whip and premier are counted, women make up 41 per cent.
Legault sits at the top of the pay scale, with a salary of nearly $200,000 per year.
Fifteen men and 12 women are included in the second tier of the pay scale, whose revenue is boosted to $167,482 and includes cabinet ministers and the president of the national assembly.
The position of parliamentary assistant, a function that allows an elected official to assist a minister, is often considered a gateway to cabinet. There are four times as many men as women in this category, at 16 compared to four.
The politician who has had the biggest pay cut since the election is MarieChantal Chasse, who went from environment minister to a simple committee chair, and consequently saw her pay decline from $167,482 to $119,630.
Her successor, Benoit Charette, made the exact same journey in reverse, boosting his salary by $47,852 in the process.