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Y IN ends 27 Flooring Area Rugs Paint w Coverings rial Supplies interior design headquarters Let the sunshine in Alberta expands public sector salary disclosure to boards and agencies By CRAIG GILBERT The shadows are scattering in Alberta as the NDP government moves to expand the reach of its sunshine legislation. On Nov. 5 the government introduced the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act or Bill 5 which expands the sunshine list to people who work for agencies boards and commissions ABCs public post-sec- ondary schools ofces of the provincial leg- islature and health service entities. The bill will result in salary disclosure pri- marily for those earning more than 125000 per year putting the focus on higher-income earners and managers a departure from the disclosure rule in place for government employees which sets the threshold at just below 105000. Bill 5 enshrines that Trea- sury Board directive into law but doesnt in- crease the threshold which the Opposition Wildrose Party was less than impressed with. In January the party released data it ob- tained through a Freedom of Information request that showed the number of public servants who earned more than 100000 doubled between 2009 and 2013 to almost 10000. Wildrose welcomes the step to bring more openness and transparency into government and its agencies its something we have long calledforWildroseaccountabilitycriticJason Nixon said in a press release. However the 20000 discrepancy between the disclosure limit for government employees and for pub- lic sector bodies doesnt make sense. He said outrageous bloated salaries for high-ranking executives in ABCs have been a hallmark of the Alberta government. The government argued in a press release that Bill 5 would lay the groundwork for it to regulate the disclosure of fee-for-service revenues and other payments to doctors and other medical practitioners. Municipalities and school boards meanwhile will be en- abled but not required to disclose compen- sation paid to employees. Parties impacted by this legislation will be consulted to help determine how to imple- ment the act as the regulations are drafted according to Kathleen Ganley Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. The legislation will include a provision to allow individual exemptions for safety reasons for example Crown prosecutors. According to the government exemptions for entities can be addressed through regulation. This government has committed to in- creasing transparency and we are keeping our promise Ganley said. This legislation will allow Alberta taxpayers to see where their dollars are spent. We are also commit- ted to working closely with those affected by this legislation to support compliance. More where that came from The province also announced last week it intends to proceed with a review of all ABCs to ensure bang for taxpayer buck. The prov- inces 301 arms length agencies boards and commissions including the Alberta Energy Regulator the boards of governors of pub- licly funded colleges and universities and the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commis- sion direct almost half of all provincial spending or about 20 billion. First up for review are the 136 agencies subject to the Alberta Public Agencies Gov- ernance Act including the Workers Com- pensation Board Travel Alberta and the Alberta Transportation Safety Board. To be completed by March that work entails ministers reviewing organizations associ- ated with their departments considering their role and mandate board membership and governance and pointing out areas of duplication and potential cost savings. An outside consultant will advise gov- ernment on rationalizing and standardiz- ing compensation levels. The second phase of the review will in- clude 141 agencies that are not governed under the act concluding next summer. The third and nal review phase to be completed in late fall 2016 will focus on boards of governors at public post-second- ary institutions. Not all the pursestrings are tightening As the ABC review is nearing completion students across the province will be step- ping into a summer job thanks in part to the province. Premier Rachel Notley announced Nov. 3 her governing New Democrats planned to reinstate the Student Temporary Employ- ment Program STEP in 2016 and provid- ing employer subsidies to help create more than 3000 student positions. It was cut by the Tories three years ago. It will for the rst time allow small busi- nesses to take part as well as municipali- ties not-for-prot groups school boards and publicly-funded post-secondary institutions. Students are pleased to see the STEP re- turned for summer 2016 Council of Alberta University Students chair Romy Garrido said in a press release. It will make a big impact in the many communities across Alberta that previously relied on the program.