Sunday , June 20 2021

Few details revealed of former Calgary MLA payment during license



Stephanie McLean, former NDP MLA for the Calgary-Varsity piloting.

Larry Wong / Postmedia

Former Calgary-Varsity NDP MLA, Stephanie McLean, was paid during a recent posting leave, but the premier's office on Monday gave details on how much it was compensated at that time.

On Jan. 2, Premier Rachel Notley announced McLean's resignation as MLA about six months after then-Service Minister Alberta and the status of the women said she would not compete in the upcoming election scheduled for next spring.

The former minister, who left the policy to practice law, was absent during the fall session of the legislature, which ran from late October to early December.

On Monday, Postmedia asked the Postmedia how long it was on leave, how much it was compensated during that time and whether it was at the ministerial level.

Cheryl Oates, chief communications officer at Notley, said in an e-mail that the Calgary MLA had "submitted its notice of assembly leave to the president before the fall session and therefore, its pay was not moored."

Oates was referring to the cut of $ 100 per day in lost MLAs for more than 10 days in the legislature, unless it was due to illness, mourning or compliance with official public duties.

"The reason (for a particular license) is not made public," added Oates.

She also said that McLean was not paid at the ministerial rate because she was no longer in the cabinet, having been scrambled last June.

A level of remuneration would not affect your pension because "MLAs receive no more pensions, except for long-term members whose pensions were protected."

Oates said McLean would have received a strictly MLA rate, or $ 10,608 a month while on leave, but it is not entirely clear how long she was absent until her resignation at the end of the year.

It should be the responsibility of government officials to provide all the details of the damages, said Duff Conacher, co-founder of the Democracy Watch group.

"This is not something you need to request a request for freedom of information," he said. "It should be pro-actively disclosed."

In 2017-2018, McLean received a total compensation of $ 220,957, of which $ 127,296 was paid by the MLA and another $ 63,648 as cabinet minister.

When McLean announced he would not run for re-election next spring, Calgarian said she would remain politically active.

"I will continue to work as much as possible to see the province move forward with Rachel Notley and her team," she said in a statement on May 31.

In mid-June, McLean was dragged out of the office, his portfolio of Alberta Service given to MAL Brian Malkinson of Calgary-Currie, and his female role status being absorbed by Children's Services Minister Danielle Larivee.

Last November, McLean told Postmedia that her departure was not politically motivated, that she was better and asked that her privacy be respected.

Conacher said there are limits to privacy "when you are serving the public" and that the reasons for taking leave of absence should be revealed.

"This is a very dangerous and undemocratic attitude – the public pays for all this and has the right to know," he said.

"Hiding behind a law and saying it's not mandatory – well, the rules are secret and unethical and politicians write rules by themselves."

It is scandalous, he said, that politicians are not forced to explain how they spend their time.

The UCP would not comment on the problem on Monday.

In announcing his resignation as MLA, Notley noted McLean's work on creating legislation to combat sexual violence and promote women's rights.

She also cited her work in protecting vulnerable Albertans from predatory lending practices.

McLean was the first MLA in the province's history to give birth while in office.

The executive director of Notte's southern Alberta office, Anne McGrath, was nominated by the NDP to run for Calgary-Varsity in the upcoming provincial elections.

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On twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn


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