Where’s all the money going?
When will government stop keeping secrets from the people of this province regarding the salaries of senior employees and political appointments? As we have all learned, the ramifications from Bill 29 have wide been extensive ever since it was passed in June 2012 making sweeping changes to the province’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The amendments were so extreme that the act was nicknamed “The Official Secrets Act.”
In the press conference following the bill’s introduction, both the minister and deputy minister assured the public that the provision of remuneration details would not change. But of course, they went back on their word and replaced the very word “remuneration,” which refers to total compensation, with the term “salary range.”
I’ve demanded that government commit to revealing all non-salary payments and any other benefits provided to political appointees of government. It was revealed that Len Simms, CEO of Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, received a base salary of a whopping $160,000. Bonuses and other benefits were redacted, or blacked out, from the information provided.
Len Simms left his job twice to run Tory election campaigns and was reappointed both times. I believe the people are entitled to know what bonuses the CEO of Housing received after running this government’s election campaigns. Nice ones, I suspect.
During the 2012 budget lockup in April, a document that had been provided since 1971 was missing — Departmental Salary Details. Months later, government finally saw fit to provide the Official Opposition with the document, but it was missing the breakdown of permanent versus temporary employees, overtime and other earnings and adjustments.
The people have a right to know how their money is being spent and government is not being upfront with the taxpayers, who ultimately foot the bill for government salaries. Their lack of transparency is appalling.
MHA for Burgeo-La Poile