QUEEN’S PARK — Doug Ford has nearly doubled the number of parliamentary assistants giving 31 MPPs a 14 per cent pay hike while firing education and health care workers.
Doug Ford appointed 31 Conservative MPPs to be parliamentary assistants on Wednesday. The MPPs will each get an extra $16,300 on top of their MPP salary.
“The gravy train is getting crowded,” said NDP MPP Taras Natyshak (Essex). “Under Ford, hundreds of health care and education workers have gotten pink slips, and every public sector working person will see their salary throttled to one per cent or less this year.
“But for his insiders, money’s no object and there’s no such thing as a government too big. The party with taxpayers’ money is a real rager.”
Last week, Ford grew the size of his cabinet by 33 per cent, appointing more cabinet ministers than any other province in the country. Now, he’s growing the parliamentary assistant pool by 72 per cent, to 31 from 18. The Liberal government had 23 parliamentary assistants at last count.
“Does Doug Ford’s cabinet actually need this much help? Or is Doug Ford using public money to buy the happiness and loyalty of a caucus that’s been reportedly unhappy with him?” Natyshak asked.
The party’s house leaders, speakers and other roles also get a pay bump, so there are now only six PC MPPs who are not earning an extra paycheque on top of their MPP pay.
“How bad do you have to tick off Doug Ford to be in that group of six Conservative MPPs that aren’t getting a special appointment and extra public money from Doug Ford?” Natyshak asked.