- Departing Canadian MPs are entitled to severance pay and, in some cases, retirement benefits.
- These payments extend to both MPs who chose not to run again and losing incumbents.
- In fact, the severance pay for many MPs is more than most Canadians make in a year.
The day after Election Day, for most, means considering who has won and where, and how those new (or re-elected) Canadian MPs will impact their ridings. But there will be an additional impact on Canadian taxpayers when it comes to those candidates that didn't win in their ridings.
Many incumbents are facing unemployment. And, since we are a country that takes care of our unemployed, there is apparently some significant money to be made as a failed political hopeful.
In fact, the severance for failed political candidates is more than most Canadians make in a whole year...
So how much are the Quebec candidates taking home this year? Well, inspired by an article from Narcity Canada, we decided to look into the MPs who lost their riding or were voted out of a riding they previously held, to see how much severance these political hopefuls stand to make, now that they have lost the battle in this federal election.
Of the 78 parliamentary seats in Quebec, according to the CBC, 25 of them switched parties.
Incumbents that chose not to run again are entitled to a significant severance payout, worth half of their annual salary. The National Post reports that the standard annual salary for an MP is $178,000 (not bad, eh?) meaning severance comes in at a clean $89,000.
That number goes up if they've been serving a riding for six years or more, in which case they are also entitled to a pension if over 55, or a deferred pension with the severance if under 55.
In July, The Canadian Press reported that there were 39 MPs who had already decided not to run in the election and that 18 of them were eligible for severance, which put the payout total at an estimated $1,618,850.
Members of Parliament who lost reelection are also entitled to severance. Now that the election is over, that payout total going to climb, particularly when you consider big upsets in Quebec, like the loss of Beauce by longstanding Conservative MP Maxime Bernier, and the loss of NDPs Matthew Dubé in Beloeil-Chambly, and Guy Caron of Rimouski-Neigette-Témiscouata-Les Basques.
In addition to the hefty $89,000 in severance, if an MP was serving any kind of higher office, there are additional severance payouts, which the National Post suggests could be as high as $9,000.
Guy Caron, for example, served as Federal Parliamentary Leader, and would therefore likely be entitled to an extra sum.
In the last election of 2015, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation "estimated a total of $11 million in severance payments had been paid out to retiring or defeated MPs," which raises... well, several questions.
While there's nothing wrong with severance pay, being an MP is more like working out a set-term contract, wherein the likelihood of job loss is to be expected because, of course, there's always going to be another election.
Plus, according to the government of Canada, "severance pay is money your employer pays you when you lose your job through no fault of your own."
But, if you're voted out of your job, as an MP is... is that not their own fault?