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Port Edward mayor and councillors salary increases approved

Salaries for municipal positions vary across the Northwest
Port Edward mayor Knut Bjorndal meeting with the Minister of International Development, Harjit S. Sajjan, on Aug. 23 during a tour the North Pacific Cannery in Port Edward. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

The District of Port Edward council approved a mayoral salary of $20,425 and a councillor salary of $11,935 for 2023 during their regular meeting on Feb. 28.

These figures represent a 7.2 per cent increase from 2022, when the part-time mayor was paid $19,053 and councillors were each paid $11,133.

Port Edward calculated the annual indemnities using the consumer price index (CPI) in B.C., stated Polly Pereira, director of corporate administrative services at Port Edward, in the Jan. 24 agenda package. The average CPI in 2022 was 6.9 per cent higher than the average in 2021, according to the BC Stats website.

As a result of a dramatic increase in the CPI, this year’s per cent increases were double the changes from 2021 to 2022, when mayor and councillor salaries increased by 3.6 per cent.

Annual wages for municipal representatives vary across the northwest. In 2021, the Prince Rupert mayor was paid $86,349 for a full-time position and councillors earned $21,472 each, as reported in the city-issued financial report in June 2022. To the east, in 2022 the Terrace mayor had a salary of $45,816 for a part-time position and councillors made $18,607.

These communities also have larger populations. According to the 2021 Canadian census, Prince Rupert has a population of 12,300 and Terrace is home to 12,017 people, whereas Port Edward’s constituency is only 470.

Council also approved a change to the council remuneration bylaw for the mileage rate that the mayor and councillors are reimbursed. Previously the bylaw stated that travel by private vehicle would be reimbursed at $.55 per kilometre. This part of the bylaw was adjusted to state that the district will use the B.C. provincial government mileage rate to reimburse council members, which is $.57 per kilometre as of April 1, 2022.

The bylaw lays out all of the expenses the mayor and councillors can be reimbursed for. This includes travel, food, accommodation and other miscellaneous costs that could be racked up while they are doing municipal business.

READ MORE: City of Prince Rupert announces top earners over $100,000

 Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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