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Digby Warden Jimmy MacAlpine not reoffering after 20 years in municipal politics – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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DIGBY, N.S. —

After serving 20 years in municipal politics, the warden of the Municipality of Digby says it’s time to step away and look for other opportunities.

Jimmy MacAlpine will not be reoffering in the October municipal election. Having first been elected to council in 2000, he says midway through the five terms he’s served he always said to himself he hoped to know when the right time would be to move on.

He says that time is now.

He’s leaving behind a lot of pride and satisfaction for the work carried out by the respective councils he’s served with.

“It’s been great serving the community. I represent District 1 as a councillor but as a warden you represent the whole county and I’ve made a lot of good positive relationships with people around the province and locally,” he says. “I’ve enjoyed my time with council.”

Digby Warden Jimmy MacAlpine.

Reflecting on council accomplishments he’s most proud of throughout the years, his list may not always sound glamourous – a lot of it falls in the area of infrastructure – but these are important things for the quality of life for residents, he says.

In his early days as an elected official, he says an area council was heavily focused on wastewater/sewer treatment facilities and collection lines in various areas of the municipality. He was pleased to see that work occur.

Connecting people with municipal transit was also a priority, he says, and achieved with Kings Transit and Transport de Clare.

He also points to the senior safety committee work in the municipality as being vitally important.

“We’ve got a great co-ordinator that works with the seniors and, to me, that’s very important to have that in place and for council to support,” he says.

Around 2011, the municipality also started to focus on renewable energy. It also created the position for a renewable energy program co-ordinator.

“We felt it was very important for our municipality to start looking at how we could be greener and help generate some revenue outside of relying on property tax,” MacAlpine says, pointing out the municipality owns two wind turbines.

“Also during that time, we changed out all of our streetlights. They used to be owned by Nova Scotia Power. We own them all now and we changed them over to LED lights and, in doing that, we were able to cut the cost down by half to the residents who have the streetlight service,” he says.

MacAlpine says the municipality continues to work on climate change initiatives, pointing to the installation of tidal gauges in five locations to monitor sea-level rise.

“We’ve got some very low-lying areas like Bear River and Weymouth and down on the Islands that are going to be impacted in the future,” he says.

The hiring of a trails co-ordinator to develop trails and open spaces has been another key initiative for the municipality, he says.

MacAlpine is a firm believer in regional co-operation and has been pleased to see things grow and evolve on that front. He also says he’s enjoyed, and been grateful for, the opportunity to serve on boards and committees that he might not have otherwise were it not for his time on council – whether it was serving on the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (now called the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities), including time as its president; or serving on and also chairing the Library Boards Association of Nova Scotia.

Libraries, he says, are a heartbeat of communities.

And there have been countless other boards and committees.

As for the future, MacAlpine points to expanded access to high-speed internet as an ongoing priority for the municipality.

Asked what he would say to someone considering a run at municipal politics in the upcoming election, the outgoing warden says, “I’d encourage them to make sure they have the time commitment and they’re going in with the best interest of the community as a whole, not a personal agenda.

“You’re not always going to be able to please everybody by every decision that you make but you always try to make the best decisions for the whole community,” he says. “I feel that council has done a good job with regards to that and I’ve enjoyed my time there.”

MacAlpine also hopes to see more people become engaged in the voting process. This year’s election in the municipality will offer a mixture of electronic voting and paper ballots.

“In the last election we had only three elections, we had two people go in by acclamation. Of the three elections we had the average voter turnout was between 35 and 40 per cent,” he says. “It only takes a couple of minutes to vote. I’d like to see people get more engaged and vote.”

Asked if he’d consider serving at another level of politics, he says it’s not something on his radar now.

“I did try that once before,” he says, referring to 2006 when he ran for the Progress Conservatives in the 2006 provincial election against Liberal incumbent Harold Theriault and lost by 900 votes. “I’ve got no aspirations at this time to pursue any other level of politics.”

MacAlpine – who has served as a municipal councillor, the deputy warden, and the warden during his time in municipal politics – says he is content with his decision to call it a day after 20 years.

“If I was to reoffer it would be another four years of my life,” he says. “At this stage, I felt it was a right time to step away from it.”

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16 MLAs retiring from BC politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation – Terrace Standard

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As a number of provincial politicians have bowed out of running for re-election ahead of Oct. 24, a national tax reform advocacy group is highlighting the cost of political retirement– to the tune of $20 million – with taxpayers footing the bill.

“While we thank these retiring politicians for their work, taxpayers need to know the huge cost of these gold-plated pensions,” said Kris Sims, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“These pensions simply aren’t affordable for taxpayers. MLAs need to reform their pension plan.”

According to the government, MLA pensions are calculated by taking the highest earning years of the retiring MLAs and factoring in their years of work. The annual pension payments are capped at 70 per cent of the highest earning years.

That means that for every $1 the politicians contribute to their own pension plans, taxpayers pay $4, Sims said.

“It’s time to end these rich pension schemes,” said Sims, adding that MLAs not seeking re-election are allowed to collect the equivalent of their salaries for up to 15 months while they look for new jobs, and they get up to $9,000 if they need skills training.

The federation calculated the expected pensions for 16 retiring MLAs, and determined that former house speaker and BC Liberal MLA Linda Reid is expected to collect the highest per-year amount, roughly $107,000 annually when she turns 65 years old.

Reid, who represented the Richmond South Centre since 1991, is the longest-serving woman in B.C.’s government history.

Other estimated pension totals for MLAs include:

  • Tracy Redies, B.C. Liberal MLA – ineligible due to less than six years in office.
  • Claire Trevena, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
  • Shane Simpson, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
  • Scott Fraser, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
  • Carole James, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $82,000 per year, $2 million lifetime.
  • Michelle Mungall, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $58,000 per year, $1.4 million lifetime.
  • Judy Darcy, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $37,000 per year, $647,000 lifetime.
  • Doug Donaldson, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $58,000 per year, $1.4 million lifetime.
  • Rich Coleman, former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister – estimated $109,000 per year, $2.6 million lifetime.
  • John Yap, former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister – estimated $65,000 per year, $1.5 million lifetime
  • Darryl Plecas, Independent Speaker – estimated $38,000 per year, $714,000 lifetime.
  • Andrew Weaver, former Green Party Leader – estimated $31,000 per year, $764,000 lifetime.
  • Donna Barnett, B.C. Liberal MLA – estimated $46,000 per year, $400,000 lifetime.
  • Linda Larson – B.C. Liberal MLA – estimated $29,000 per year, $469,000 lifetime.
  • Ralph Sultan, former B.C. Liberal MLA – estimated $74,000 per year.
  • Linda Reid, former B.C. Liberal Speaker – estimated $107,000 per year, $2.6 million lifetime.

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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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16 MLAs retiring from BC politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation – Oak Bay News

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As a number of provincial politicians have bowed out of running for re-election ahead of Oct. 24, a national tax reform advocacy group is highlighting the cost of political retirement– to the tune of $20 million – with taxpayers footing the bill.

“While we thank these retiring politicians for their work, taxpayers need to know the huge cost of these gold-plated pensions,” said Kris Sims, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“These pensions simply aren’t affordable for taxpayers. MLAs need to reform their pension plan.”

According to the government, MLA pensions are calculated by taking the highest earning years of the retiring MLAs and factoring in their years of work. The annual pension payments are capped at 70 per cent of the highest earning years.

That means that for every $1 the politicians contribute to their own pension plans, taxpayers pay $4, Sims said.

“It’s time to end these rich pension schemes,” said Sims, adding that MLAs not seeking re-election are allowed to collect the equivalent of their salaries for up to 15 months while they look for new jobs, and they get up to $9,000 if they need skills training.

The federation calculated the expected pensions for 16 retiring MLAs, and determined that former house speaker and BC Liberal MLA Linda Reid is expected to collect the highest per-year amount, roughly $107,000 annually when she turns 65 years old.

Reid, who represented the Richmond South Centre since 1991, is the longest-serving woman in B.C.’s government history.

Other estimated pension totals for MLAs include:

  • Tracy Redies, B.C. Liberal MLA – ineligible due to less than six years in office.
  • Claire Trevena, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
  • Shane Simpson, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
  • Scott Fraser, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
  • Carole James, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $82,000 per year, $2 million lifetime.
  • Michelle Mungall, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $58,000 per year, $1.4 million lifetime.
  • Judy Darcy, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $37,000 per year, $647,000 lifetime.
  • Doug Donaldson, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $58,000 per year, $1.4 million lifetime.
  • Rich Coleman, former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister – estimated $109,000 per year, $2.6 million lifetime.
  • John Yap, former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister – estimated $65,000 per year, $1.5 million lifetime
  • Darryl Plecas, Independent Speaker – estimated $38,000 per year, $714,000 lifetime.
  • Andrew Weaver, former Green Party Leader – estimated $31,000 per year, $764,000 lifetime.
  • Donna Barnett, B.C. Liberal MLA – estimated $46,000 per year, $400,000 lifetime.
  • Linda Larson – B.C. Liberal MLA – estimated $29,000 per year, $469,000 lifetime.
  • Ralph Sultan, former B.C. Liberal MLA – estimated $74,000 per year.
  • Linda Reid, former B.C. Liberal Speaker – estimated $107,000 per year, $2.6 million lifetime.

@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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16 MLAs retiring from BC politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation – Cowichan Valley Citizen

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As a number of provincial politicians have bowed out of running for re-election ahead of Oct. 24, a national tax reform advocacy group is highlighting the cost of political retirement– to the tune of $20 million – with taxpayers footing the bill.

“While we thank these retiring politicians for their work, taxpayers need to know the huge cost of these gold-plated pensions,” said Kris Sims, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“These pensions simply aren’t affordable for taxpayers. MLAs need to reform their pension plan.”

According to the government, MLA pensions are calculated by taking the highest earning years of the retiring MLAs and factoring in their years of work. The annual pension payments are capped at 70 per cent of the highest earning years.

That means that for every $1 the politicians contribute to their own pension plans, taxpayers pay $4, Sims said.

“It’s time to end these rich pension schemes,” said Sims, adding that MLAs not seeking re-election are allowed to collect the equivalent of their salaries for up to 15 months while they look for new jobs, and they get up to $9,000 if they need skills training.

The federation calculated the expected pensions for 16 retiring MLAs, and determined that former house speaker and BC Liberal MLA Linda Reid is expected to collect the highest per-year amount, roughly $107,000 annually when she turns 65 years old.

Reid, who represented the Richmond South Centre since 1991, is the longest-serving woman in B.C.’s government history.

Other estimated pension totals for MLAs include:

  • Tracy Redies, B.C. Liberal MLA – ineligible due to less than six years in office.
  • Claire Trevena, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
  • Shane Simpson, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
  • Scott Fraser, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
  • Carole James, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $82,000 per year, $2 million lifetime.
  • Michelle Mungall, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $58,000 per year, $1.4 million lifetime.
  • Judy Darcy, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $37,000 per year, $647,000 lifetime.
  • Doug Donaldson, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $58,000 per year, $1.4 million lifetime.
  • Rich Coleman, former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister – estimated $109,000 per year, $2.6 million lifetime.
  • John Yap, former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister – estimated $65,000 per year, $1.5 million lifetime
  • Darryl Plecas, Independent Speaker – estimated $38,000 per year, $714,000 lifetime.
  • Andrew Weaver, former Green Party Leader – estimated $31,000 per year, $764,000 lifetime.
  • Donna Barnett, B.C. Liberal MLA – estimated $46,000 per year, $400,000 lifetime.
  • Linda Larson – B.C. Liberal MLA – estimated $29,000 per year, $469,000 lifetime.
  • Ralph Sultan, former B.C. Liberal MLA – estimated $74,000 per year.
  • Linda Reid, former B.C. Liberal Speaker – estimated $107,000 per year, $2.6 million lifetime.

@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

BC politics

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