Provincial government MLA compensation and renumeration reports for the financial year April 2013 to March 2014 were recently released.

Local Columbia River-Revelstoke opposition MLA Norm Macdonald’s salary and travel expenses were the lowest of any of the four MLAs from the Kootenay region. Mr. Macdonald makes the basic MLA salary of $101,859 and last year had travel expenses (which include a capital city allowance, an in-constituency allowance, a general travel allowance and an accompanying-person travel allowance) totaling $55,137.

Neighbouring Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall (also an opposition MLA) had the same salary and had travel expenses totaling  $64,988. Kootenay West opposition MLA Katherine Conroy made the basic salary and had $55,995 in travel expenses. Mr. Macdonald has noticeably lower general travel expenses ($17,973) than either Ms. Conroy ($28,434) or Ms. Mungall ($28,946), while Ms. Conroy has the lowest accompanying-person travel expenses of the three Kootenay opposition MLAs ($3,842 for Ms. Conroy, $9,917 for Mr. Macdonald and $11,979 for Ms. Mungall).

Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett’s salary is, as a cabinet minister (Minister of Mines and Energy, Minister of Core Review), much higher with an executive salary of $40,743 tacked onto the base salary for a total salary of $142,603. As a cabinet minister, Mr. Bennett’s travel expense is also significantly higher, totaling $93,415. Of that, $8,185 is a ministerial out-of-province/out-of-country travel allowance, while $57,953 is general travel expenses.