OTTAWA — Three Manitoba MPs are collecting provincial pensions from their days as MLAs, topping up their $172,700 federal salary.
Ethics filings show Liberal MPs Kevin Lamoureux and MaryAnn Mihychuk are still collecting a pension for their time in the Manitoba legislature, as is Conservative MP Larry Maguire.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says all three are entitled to compensation, but the roughly $67,000 combined annual payment is part of a poorly structured provincial fund.
"I don’t think anyone begrudges an MLA for getting compensated fairly," said Todd MacKay, prairie director of the federation, which opposes government waste.
Manitoba calculates MLA pensions based on an average of the five highest-paid salary years, the number of years served and whether the politician was a cabinet minister.
The federation tabulated rough estimates Thursday for each of the three MPs.
Maguire, who sat as an MLA from September 1999 to October 2013, is estimated to have an MLA pension of $23,000. Mihychuk, an MLA from April 1995 to September 2004, is likely collecting $16,000 annually. Lamoureux, who served two terms (April 1988 to September 1999, and June 2003 to November 2010) is estimated to collect $28,000.
The federation has long advocated that the province put MLA pensions under a corporate-style defined benefit plan. It’s unclear whether the province is leaving its pension fund empty, and later rushing to fill it.
"We don’t know if the government is making a matching payment to top it up, or creating an unfunded liability," he said. "Taxpayers down the road are getting stung for cheques going out to these guys"
On Thursday, CBC published an analysis of MPs’ ethics filings, and found 36 of Canada’s 336 MPs are collecting pensions from provincial governments, the military or private sector.
The network reported that Transport Minister Marc Garneau is getting two pension cheques, one from his military days and another from his astronaut career, in addition to his current MP salary and cabinet minister top-up.
Parliamentary bureau chief
In Ottawa, Dylan enjoys snooping through freedom-of-information requests and asking politicians: "What about Manitoba?"