By Don Norman
All municipalities in the region have either passed, or are considering by-laws to raise indemnities paid to members of council. Councils across the province are all considering the same action. The change stems from new federal legislation that went into effect on January 1 that changes how members of council report income on their taxes. Previously, 1/3 of the indemnity was exempt. That exemption has been removed. So, the take home pay of a council member would drop on average. The Association of Manitoba Municipalities has recommended a 20% increase to compensate for the loss of income.
The RM of Alexander did the third reading of the bylaw at their December 11 meeting. Councillor Diane Dubé had requested a recorded vote and she was the only member of council who voted against it. The council raised their indemnities by 10% across the board. The monthly indemnity of for the reeve is being raised from $1606 to $1,766. For the deputy reeve, it is rising from $1178 to $1,295. And for councillors it is rising from $1,070 to $1,178.
The RM of Victoria Beach did the first reading of their indemnity by-law on Tuesday, January 22. They are raising monthly indemnities 13% from $705 to $800 for Reeve and 14% from $605 to $690 for councillors.
On January 10, the Town of Lac du Bonnet did their final reading on their indemnity by-law. The mayor’s indemnity rose by 15% from $725 to $833; the deputy reeve rose 43% from $525 to $750 and the councillors rose 33% from $500 to $667.
The third reading for the RM of Lac du Bonnet’s indemnity by-law was held on December 18. The reeve received a 16% increase from $1101 to $1275. The deputy reeve received a 13% increase from $936 to $1063. Councillor’s monthly indemnity rose 11% from $869 to $935.
At this time, The Town of Powerview Pine Falls has not yet revised its indemnity by-law but it is on the agenda for their January 28 meeting.