Toronto Star

Saini to get $93K payoff after ending his campaign

- MARIE WOOLF

OTTAWA—Raj Saini stands to walk away with a $93,000 “golden goodbye” after standing down as a Liberal candidate.

The former MP for Kitchener Centre stepped down after facing allegation­s that he harassed a female staff member, claims he firmly denies.

Saini is entitled to a $92,900 severance cheque, worth half his $185,800 MP’s salary.

He could also access a $15,000 allowance for departing MPs, which includes the cost of shredding papers, getting financial advice and trips to and from Ottawa.

Saini, 54, narrowly misses out on a pension, which is available to MPs aged 55 or older who have spent six years in office.

Taxpayers are expected to foot a hefty bill for “golden goodbyes” for MPs who retire or lose their seats after the election.

After the 2019 election, 94 MPs collected $5.8 million in severance payments, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Saini stood down as a candidate in Kitchener Centre after the election began, following a barrage of questions about his alleged conduct towards a female staff member.

An investigat­ion into a complaint by the House of Commons, according to Saini, found “nothing arose regarding concerns of harassment in the office.” But last week, the Commons’ most senior official announced his intention to launch a review of the handling of the complaint to see if there are any shortcomin­gs.

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