Ontario legislators clash over bill to reduce salaries during pandemic

Ontario's upcoming provincial election is scheduled for June 2, 2022. Phil Pang / Global News

TORONTO — Ontario legislators voted Wednesday to reduce a politician’s salary during the pandemic after he introduced a similar motion intended for all members.

Speaker Ted Arnott later ruled that motion out of order, saying pay cuts to legislative members must be done through legislation.

Roman Baber, a former Progressive Conservative who now sits as an independent, accused the government house leader of making light of a situation many Ontarians are struggling with.

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But House leader Paul Calandra said he’s concerned about setting the precedent of passing bills without proper debate.

Baber had introduced a bill to reduce members’ salaries to $500 per week — the same amount as the federal aid made available to Canadians who lost work during the first wave of lockdowns last year.

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Calandra said he expected the Speaker to toss his motion directed at Baber, and that he had introduced it to make a point.

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