Outgoing Ottawa councillors to get severance packages
Six Ottawa City Councillors who are choosing to not seek re-election will be getting a severance package for their service.
In previous terms, the transition allowance was only given to councillors who were defeated at the polls. That has now been changed, giving councillors a month’s pay for every year of service up to six months.
Councillors Steve Desroches, Maria McRae, Rainer Bloess and Diane Holmes will be receiving about $47,000 each for their service.
Councillor Peter Hume will receive about $71,500 and Councillor Doug Thompson will collect $67,000 which factors in their service on councils pre-amalgamation.
Thompson who is choosing not to run after 31 years in public life says finding another job will be difficult for some councillors.
“There is this transition because I know some councillors who were defeated or they retired and it's five or six months before they found employment,” he says.
While the City of Ottawa acknowledges that not seeking re-election is different than being “laid off” it states some of the conditions are just as challenging.
“A Councillor who leaves office is not entitled to Employment Insurance,” explains Leslie Donnelly, Deputy City Clerk.
She also explains that elected officials must work until the end of their term “making it difficult to pursue future employment while they are a sitting Member.”
The transition allowance does not apply for Councillors running for another municipality or other level of government. It also will not be awarded if the councillor returns to their jobs held before joining city council.
This allowance is in addition to the collected pensions of outgoing councillors. Doug Thompson says it is for that reason he plans to donate some of his transition allowance to community causes.
With a report from CTV’s John Hua