- The annual total renumeration for public officials is public information in Quebec.
- Here is the annual salary and net worth of Quebec premier François Legault and some of his counterparts.
Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States, once wrote that "no man should go into politics if he wants to get rich, or expect an adequate reward for his services." I'm not sure about President Truman, but the current salary of a sitting President is $400,000.
One could argue that that amount isn't an adequate reward for the years of hard work that some elected officials perform. But keep in mind that modern public officials are brands in themselves. Sure, Justin Trudeau makes $345,400 in salary as Prime Minister but that's a paltry amount if you add that to earnings from speaking fees, endorsements, investments, and the like.
Quebec's Premier, François Legault is one of those modern elected officials in every sense. Prior to becoming a politician, Legault was the co-founder of Air Transat. According to The Canadian Press, Legault's personal net worth was $9.86 million in 2018. Tax documents indicate that Legault has $4.5 million in a Montreal property, a retirement savings portfolio worth $5.78 million, and a $471,000 line of credit.
All that on top of an annual indemnity of $100,489 and a total remuneration of $196,193, funded by the government.
Luckily for us, all this information is public knowledge thanks to an obligation for transparency (something the Legault administration prides itself on).
Despite that, many people might look at this and think something is amiss — especially considering the vast net worth the Premier. This also brings up the issue that in the CAQ caucus, men still make more than women.
Elections Quebec also provides a yearly allowance to all registered political parties in the province, to assist with operational costs and other expenses.
In 2018, the total allowance, spread amongst 21 registered political parties was $9,576,374.60. For the election, an additional $6,012,440 was spread to 12 parties.
Before you take out your pitchforks, it's important to keep in mind that much of Legault's personal wealth came before his political career. Still, he was the wealthiest candidate for Premier in the last election by a large margin.
Legault's counterpart in Ontario, Doug Ford, wasn't a public official in 2018 but is estimated to take roughly $200,000 a year in salary.
At least we can say that Legault is the most transparent of the bunch as he's always been clear and honest about his wealth and public salary.
Do you think public officials should be making such a high salary?