As a social worker in North Delta, I sometimes get people calling me who are in desperate situations. This is despite the fact that I do not have any formal government position and I work for myself in private practice as a counsellor.
I had one young woman call me who had children and a family. She was going to be evicted from her long-term residence because she was unable to pay her rent. She was essentially going to be homeless. Every government program and service that was put in place to help her essentially failed. As a last resort, I recommended that she contact her MLA and MP for help, both of who could also not help her.
This made me angry.
I am not sure about MLA salaries, but MPs earn $172,700 per year starting. This does not include the huge increases they receive if they make it to cabinet or another parliamentary role. They also just received a huge increase recently again.
I feel MLAs and MPs deserve a decent salary, but they do not need to earn this much, especially when most Canadians are barely getting by month-to-month.
Politics should be a civic duty and not a career. I am willing to bet that, for most elected officials, being an MLA or MP is the highest paid job they ever had in their life.
What good is having an MLA or MP if they cannot even help a woman with children like this who is in a desperate crisis and emergency situation?
I have two recommendations:
MLAs and MPs should each be provided with a local crisis allowance budget of between $50,000 to $100,000, depending on the size of their riding, which they can issue at their discretion for people in their riding who are in crisisor distress or who need emergency support and assistance.
MLAs and MPs should also be provided with incentives to donate a portion of their salary to non-profits and charities in their riding.
That’s my thought of the day! Make it happen, Premier Horgan and Justin Trudeau.