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'Empty titles' come with $15,000 a year bonus pay

While parliamentary secretary positions have been described as "empty titles" used to mollify MLAs who would have preferred to be ministers, they do come with pay.

In announcing the new British Columbia cabinet March 14, Premier Christy Clark shrunk the number of ministers but increased by one the number of parliamentary secretaries.

A parliamentary secretary gets a 15 percent bonus on their base MLA salary of roughly $100,000, making the empty titles worth about $15,000 a year. Details are included in the Members' Remuneration and Pensions Act.

The 10 parliamentary secretaries Clark appointed included former cabinet ministers Moira Stilwell, Margaret MacDiarmid, Iain Black, John Yap, Randy Hawes, John Les and Gordon Hogg, as well as Pat Pimm, Donna Barnett and Richard Lee.

Former Premier Gordon Campbell's last cabinet, announced Oct. 25, 2010, included nine parliamentary secretaries.

Cabinet ministers receive $50,000 a year on top of their MLA salary.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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