Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Understanding Joe Fontana

The Specs:

Joe Fontana Liberal

Age: 56

Occupation: Five-term MP, former insurance broker and 10-year city hall politician.

Campaign: Federal labour minister, he went on the offensive for much of the campaign, defending his party's scandal-ridden government and focused on his own work for the riding as a 17-year MP.
Canadian Taxpayers Federation reports:
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today released a list of projected pension and severance payments to be paid to 66 MPs who were either defeated in the January 23rd general election or resigned prior to the vote. Defeated or retiring MPs will collect a grand total of over $74-million in cumulative pension payments. (Annual pension payments total approximately $3.3-million in today’s dollars.) In addition, another $2.6-million in severance cheques will be issued to former MPs. The pension and severance calculations for individual MPs are available at www.taxpayer.com.

“Defeated and retiring members will win financially thanks to a gold-plated pension plan and rich severance payments for parliamentarians,” said CTF federal director John Williamson. “Shed no tears for retiring or defeated MPs. They are being well looked after by Canadian taxpayers.”

The biggest annual pension winners – the $100,000-plus club – include Liberal MPs Ethel Blondin-Andrew at $137,820; Don Boudria at $135,906; David Anderson at $114,600; Marlene Catterall at $109,408; Beth Phinney at $102,308; and Anne McLellan at $100,132. Independent David Kilgour rings in at $128,228. Cumulative pensions that will exceed $3-million will be paid to Liberals Ethel Blondin-Andrew, Don Boudria, Tony Valeri, and Paddy Torsney. Please see CTF calculations for the list of those MPs that will receive cumulative pensions in excess of $2-million and $1-million.

[..] Defeated or retiring MPs are eligible to collect a pension at age 55 if they have served at least 6 years in the House of Commons. MPs who have not served the minimum years and receive no pension collect a severance equal to 50 per cent of 2005 member indemnity. Former MPs who are eligible for a pension but have not reached the age of 55 are also entitled to a severance. If a member turns 55 years old within 6 months of being eligible for a pension, a reduced severance cheque is paid to them. Lump sum severance payments range from a low of $34,012 and a high of $106,750.
Reminder to voters contributing $1.75 to registered parties receiving 2% or more of the vote: Joe Fontana won his riding.