Prov­ince freezes judges’ salaries

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON/PROVINCE -

The Nova Sco­tia govern­ment has de­nied pro­vin­cial and fam­ily court judges a hefty pay hike, in­stead freez­ing their salaries at $236,376 for two years.

A pro­vin­cial tri­bunal had rec­om­mended a salary in­crease of about 9.5 per cent over three years — in­clud­ing a 5.4 per cent hike in the first year.

But the prov­ince re­jected that — freez­ing the salary for two years be­fore a one-per-cent hike in 2019-20.

It says it is giv­ing the judges the same wage in­crease be­ing given to Crown at­tor­neys and pro­posed for pub­lic-sec­tor work­ers.

It says that is also the fund­ing in­crease for doc­tors.

The prov­ince also sig­nalled its in­ten­tion to freeze the ac­crual of judges’ pub­lic ser­vice award ef­fec­tive April 1.

“The salary in­creases rec­om­mended by the tri­bunal do not fit our eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion and tax­pay­ers’ abil­ity to pay,’’ Fi­nance Min­is­ter Randy Delorey said in a state­ment. “In­stead, we have adopted a fair salary in­crease for judges that stays within the fis­cal plan.

“Govern­ment has de­ter­mined that this mod­i­fied salary in­crease is rea­son­able, suf­fi­cient to at­tract ex­cel­lent can­di­dates for ap­point­ment as judges and re­spects the in­de­pen­dence and crit­i­cal role of the ju­di­ciary in our democ­racy.’’

In the last three years, judges’ salaries were hiked 3.8 per cent, 1.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent

The Nova Sco­tia Pro­vin­cial Court Judges’ As­so­ci­a­tion said it had not been for­mally no­ti­fied of the prov­ince’s de­ci­sion, say­ing only: “The as­so­ci­a­tion will not be mak­ing pub­lic com­ment at this time.’’

The tri­bunal is com­posed of three lawyers ap­pointed un­der the Pro­vin­cial Court Act.

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