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Canada

Mixed response to recommended pay increase for Fredericton council

Fredericton’s mayor and city councillors may see a spike in their salary after a consultant’s report recommended an increase in pay — potentially adding thousands of dollars to their annual wages.

The proposal makes an interesting topic ahead of the fast-approaching municipal elections and it’s drawn a mixture of responses from residents.

“Being a politician is a tough, tough, tough job. I think any pay raise should actually be a little bit more because then you’re going to get a real commitment to the value of being in that position. I’m all for it,” said Rivers Corbett, a Fredericton resident.

READ MORE: Calgary CFO admits ‘confusion’ over council pay increase

The mayor and city councilors were not available or declined to comment on the recommendation that Kevin Malone, author of the report and former chief civil servant for New Brunswick, prepared.

The proposed increase would see the mayor and deputy mayor’s annual salary rise by approximately $8,000. That would mean a salary of $79,584 and $38,920, respectively.

Councillors would see an increase of almost $7,000 to almost $32,600.

Resident Janelle Beaulieu disagrees with the proposed pay raise.

“I don’t think anybody should be getting that much of a pay raise when minimum wage is so low,” Beaulieu told Global News.

The increases would actually bring councillor salaries in line with what their counterparts make in Saint John.

Saint John mayor Don Darling makes slightly more at $84,000 a year.

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Moncton’s mayor earns $85,000 a year while the deputy mayor earns just over $38,000 and councillors make around $34,000.

“Everyone deserves a fair wage for the work they do. And I know those public positions are extremely challenging,” said resident James Urbanowsky.

“If they think that’s a competitive wage for other municipalities, then sure, we need good people and there are good people in very challenging positions.”

The report on the proposed increase to salaries for Fredericton council is set to be debated as part of the Fall budget discussions.

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