(YELLOWKNIFE, NT) October 2, 2017 - On March 3, 2016 the Legislative Assembly passed Bill 1: An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act. The Bill froze MLA salaries and benefits at 2015 levels for two years. Normally, MLA salaries are adjusted each year on April 1 to reflect changes in the consumer price index (CPI), or inflation. Bill 1 eliminated the CPI increase that otherwise would have been payable on April 1, 2016 and 2017.
“This was done because of the fiscal and economic situation that the 18th Legislative Assembly faced when it came to office,” noted Speaker Jackson Lafferty, who also serves as Chair of the Assembly’s Board of Management – the body that oversees MLA pay and allowances. “It was the very first piece of legislation that this Assembly passed.”
At its meeting of Wednesday, September 27, 2017, the Board was briefed on Bill 1 and advised that unless new legislation was put in place, CPI increases would be applied to MLA salaries and allowances effective April 1, 2018. The Board gave no instructions and made no decisions on this matter.
“The briefing was accepted as information,” noted Lafferty. “The Board agreed to revisit the issue in the new year once the 2018/19 budget was made public.” No discussions have been held by Members of the Legislative Assembly on this matter. The Assembly is currently in the process of establishing an Independent Commission to review its salaries and allowances, something it is required by legislation to do every four years. The recommendations of these Commissions are normally only applied to the Members of the next Legislative Assembly. “This work is unrelated to Bill 1 or any decision that may affect MLA salaries on April 1 of next year,” said Lafferty.
For more information, please contact:
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Legislative Assembly of the NWT
P: 867-767-9130 ext. 12017 or toll-free 1-800-661-0784