Newly-elected Quebec mayor’s first motion is to axe her own salary

In this 2018 photo, then Independent MNA Catherine Fournier is sworn in at the National Assembly in Quebec City. Francis Vachon/The Canadian Press

The new administration at city hall in Longueuil, Que., the province’s fifth-most populous municipality, tabled a notice for a motion at its first council meeting pertaining to a bylaw on the remuneration of elected officials.

Specifically, the motion seeks to re-adjust the annual salary for Catherine Fournier, the newly-elected mayor, cutting it by approximately $65,000 and capping it at $185,000.

Read more: Catherine Fournier, youngest woman elected to Quebec’s National Assembly, leaves PQ

The annual salary of Longueuil’s previous mayor, Sylvie Parent, was around $ 250,000, which made her the highest-paid elected official in Quebec, according to sources. Parent’s total remuneration, however, took into account her roles in various regional bodies.

To explain her initiative, Fournier said it is inconceivable that the salary of the mayor of Longueuil is higher than that of the premier of Quebec and that of the mayor of Montreal.

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She said acting quickly was a first step in restoring and increasing citizens’ confidence in their municipal democratic institutions.

Fournier added that her salary cut will come from the part that is financed by Longueuil taxpayers and not from the various allowances to which she will be entitled and which come from other authorities. The portion of salary saved can then be redistributed for other purposes in the municipal budget.

Fournier believes that Quebec is ripe for dialogue about the remuneration of elected officials from all levels of government.

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— With files from Global News’ Annabelle Olivier

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