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Pensions a sham.

Dear Editor:

I whole-heartedly disagree with the exorbitant pensions and severance packages that our retired and defeated MPs receive. I agree with a letter writer to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix who asks how Jim Pankiw, Saskatchewan's most infamous federal parliamentarian, could receive a $70,000 severance package (this on top of his healthy pension) for stirring division and pandering to society's most base prejudices?

We will reward Maurice Vellacott for the same thing for arguing that two disgraced Saskatoon police officers were somehow wrongly prosecuted for taking a young Aboriginal man outside of city limits to possibly freeze to death. We will also reward Rick Laliberte for spending more on travel than any other MP and for not fully taking on his parliamentary duties.

It's unconscionable that 50 retiring MPs could receive $3.5 million annually in pensions or that the taxpayers will pay a further $2.9 million in severance for 29 defeated MPs.

MPs' pensions surely don't mirror my reality or the Canadian reality. I worked for 17 years with the Smoke Jumpers, the most effective fire suppression team in Saskarchewan's history. I know that I did more useful work in one summer than all those MPs I mentioned earlier did in their entire parliamentary careers. This was my reality as a civil servant--no severance package and no pension. I am sure my story is quite common. I guess I should have been elected to Parliament.

Frank Tomkins

Saskatoon, Sask.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA)
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Title Annotation:Rants and Raves
Author:Tomkins, Frank
Publication:Wind Speaker
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Sep 1, 2004
Words:242
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