Mr. Chair, I wish to thank the 2018 Independent Commission to Review Members' Compensation and Benefits for their important work and for their considered recommendations. As with previous recommendations, we have accepted some and rejected others. This process of reviewing MLA compensation by an independent commission is consistent with the practice of other Canadian jurisdictions and the process for setting judicial compensation in the NWT. It works. Contrary to recent media reports, MLAs have not voted themselves an increase in compensation above inflation for nearly two decades, despite at least one recommendation to do so from an independent commission in the 15th Assembly.
Mr. Chair, no one in this room entered politics for the money. Many around this room left higher-paying jobs in the private sector, public sector, or with Indigenous governments to seek elected office in this institution. The compensation system for MLAs needs to be fair, open, and transparent. It also needs to be effective. MLA compensation needs to be adequate to draw talented people away from their private employment yet not so low that only the rich can afford to seek office. I think we have struck a reasonable balance, Mr. Chair. Those are all of my comments.