Skip to main content

Severance packages for Watson, departed councillors cost Ottawa taxpayers $633,000

Ottawa City Hall (CTV News Ottawa) Ottawa City Hall (CTV News Ottawa)
Share

Former Mayor Jim Watson received more than $99,000 in severance from Ottawa taxpayers after leaving office in November 2022, as part of the "transition allowance" for outgoing elected officials.

In total, the city paid out $633,033 in 2022 and 2023 to Watson and the 10 councillors who left Ottawa City Hall after the November 2022 municipal election.

The city of Ottawa provides a so-called "transition allowance" of one month's pay for each consecutive year of service, up to a maximum of six months, for members of council who did not seek re-election or are defeated in the municipal election.  The city paid out $264,044 in severance in 2022, with a report for next week's Finance and Corporate Services Committee meeting showing the "transition allowance" cost the city $383,989 last year.

The transition allowance is based on the annual salary of $198,702 a year for the mayor and $111,111 for a councillor.

Watson received a severance of $99,351 following 12 years as mayor of the city of Ottawa. The former mayor received $74,131 of the "transition allowance" in 2023 after receiving $25,220 in 2022.

Departing veteran councillors Eli El-Chantiry, Jean Cloutier, Keith Egli, Jan Harder, Mathieu Fleury, Catherine McKenney and Scott Moffatt received $55,555 each in severance.

Former councillor Diane Deans received her full "transition allowance" of $79,547 in 2022. Deans was eligible to receive a "frozen entitlement" of $22,991 from the pre-amalgamated city of Ottawa in addition to the six-month transition allowance.

Coun. Carol Anne Meehan received $37,000 as a "transition allowance" for her single term on council.

Rick Chiarelli

Former councillor Rick Chiarelli was eligible to receive the maximum transition allowance of $9,259.25 a month for six months, equalling a total of $55,555.

The reports show Chiarelli received $14,103 in 2022 and $14,103 in 2023.

The former council voted in November 2022 to dock Chiarelli 90 days pay after a report by the integrity commissioner found the former College ward councillor violated council's code of conduct by bullying and harassing a female staff member.

2023 salaries

Mayor Mark Sutcliffe and all 24 councillors earned six figures in 2023.

Sutcliffe's salary is $198,702. Each councillor earned $111,111 in 2023.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

Mussolini's wartime bunker opens to the public in Rome

After its last closure in 2021, it has now reopened for guided tours of the air raid shelter and the bunker. The complex now includes a multimedia exhibition about Rome during World War II, air raid systems for civilians, and the series of 51 Allied bombings that pummeled the city between July 1943 and May 1944.

WATCH

WATCH Half of Canadians living paycheque-to-paycheque: Equifax

As Canadians deal with a crushing housing shortage, high rental prices and inflationary price pressures, now Equifax Canada is warning that Canadian consumers are increasingly under stress"from the surging cost of living.

Stay Connected