As the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) progresses toward fully recognized Self-Government it continues to grow and evolve its democratic governing institutions. For the past two years the MNO has worked with independent third-party consultants Mercer Canada, to develop the new compensation framework for MNO staff members, including senior executives (i.e. President & Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Strategy Officer). MNO and Mercer Canada have also been working on developing a fair, accountable and transparent governance compensation framework for the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO), to bring the MNO into greater alignment with compensation practices of Métis and other governments and help better position the MNO as we move forward towards full Métis Self-Government.
Following an extensive review of the current compensation system of the PCMNO, and an analysis of similar positions in comparable labour markets, territorial governments of similar size and other Métis governments, a detailed compensation framework was presented to the PCMNO Executive, the MNO’s Finance and Audit Committee, and to the PCMNO for ultimate review and approval. After several in-depth sessions during which any potential conflict of interest issues were acknowledged and addressed, a Governance Compensation Framework was approved whereby effective June 1, 2020 elected PCMNO officials will receive annual compensation that is fair, transparent and aligned with the duties, responsibilities, and time commitments expected of each role.
Why did the MNO move toward the development of a Governance Compensation Framework?
- Since 1993 the MNO has been operating and asserting itself as a government. Elected members of all other levels of government receive appropriate compensation in performance of their duties. This newly adopted Framework will provide fair compensation to the elected representatives on the PCMNO and will provide greater transparency and accountability about their roles and responsibilities.
Why is the Governance Compensation Framework being implemented now?
- Mercer Canada was engaged by the MNO more than 2 years ago to begin the work of researching and developing new MNO compensation frameworks.
- The first priority was to develop a fair, accountable and respectful staff compensation framework that came into effect in December 2019.
Mercer Canada was also engaged to research, assess and develop a fair, transparent and accountable compensation framework for the PCMNO.
- While Mercer began work on governance compensation in 2019, all the steps required for completing, reviewing, adopting, and implementing a Governance Compensation Framework were not able to be completed prior to this most recent MNO Election.
How was the Governance Compensation Framework developed?
- MNO engaged an independent third-party, Mercer Canada, to do this work–a company with extensive expertise in this area. They conducted comprehensive research into how governance compensation is currently provided within MNO, what compensation is paid to comparable governments with similar roles, and made recommendations about a fair, transparent and accountable framework for the PCMNO.
What other governments did Mercer Canada research to inform the Framework?
- Mercer contacted other provincial Métis governments as these were seen as directly comparable, with similar mandates, functions, and roles. The Métis Nation ofAlberta, Métis Nation British Columbia, and Métis Nation – Saskatchewan all provided their compensation data. Mercer examined four provincial/territorial jurisdictions (New Brunswick, Newfoundland, PEI, and Nunavut) as appropriate comparators due to similarities in geographical scope, mandate of their councils, and the election of members. They also looked at Ontario municipalities of similar size and scope.
Do other Métis governments compensate their provincially elected members?
- Yes, every other Métis government has already been compensating their provincially elected governing body. MNO is the last Métis government to take this important step forward to ensure a greater level of transparency and accountability for roles and compensation.
How was the PCMNO being compensated prior to the adoption of this Framework?
- Previously, certain members of the PCMNO Executive that were considered full or part time were receiving compensation through a salary allocation while the other members of PCMNO were only receiving meeting honouraria or additional supports for certain roles such as the Captain of the Hunt.
What were some of the principles and considerations that informed the development of the Governance Compensation Framework?
- The Framework is designed to be justifiable, adaptable, flexible, and defensible and provide reasonable and fair compensation to the PCMNO. The Framework is more accountable and transparent to Citizens as the MNO continues to transition to fully recognized self-government.
- The Framework recognizes that roles on PCMNO are diverse and have varying time commitments depending on the position, and, for Regional Councilors, depending on the region.
- For this initial term as the Framework had not been adopted prior to MNO Election 2020 the Framework recognizes that some incoming elected officials have other employment while others do not. The Framework is able to appropriately reflect varying time commitments.
- The Framework provides the following levels to classify or categorize the PCMNO “roles”:
- ExclusiveMNO Commitment – should not have any other external work commitments as the role requires 30+ hours or 5 days per week.
- Significant MNO Commitment – may or may not have other work (free of a conflict) as the role requires 21 – 30 hours or 2.5 – 4 days per week.
- Moderate MNO Commitment – may have other work (free of a conflict) as the role requires 11 to 20 hours or 1.5 – 2.5 days perweek.
- Limited MNO Commitment – may have other work (free of a conflict) as the role requires up to 10 hours or up to 1.5 days per week.
- The Framework provides that PCMNO members would no longer be eligible for honoraria for attending meetings/performing activities that fall within the scope of their elected role.
How will the PCMNO get paid?
- The PCMNO will be set up on the MNO’s Dayforce payroll system and will be paid on a bi-weekly basis.
What is the range in compensation for the various positions on PCMNO?
- The amounts vary based on the role and time commitment required.
- Mercer Canada made these salary recommendations based upon their research, review and assessment and in consideration of the size and scope of the MNO as a government.
- The Chair of PCMNO is an exclusive commitment
- The Vice-Chair and Secretary-Treasurer are a significant time commitment.
- The Executive Senator is a moderate time commitment.
- The Regional Councilor role varies depending on region from moderate to exclusive time commitment.
- Senators, the Youth Representative, and Post-secondary Representative are limited time commitment.
What about the compensation for the President?
- The MNO Bylaws provide that President also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the MNO, is the chief spokesperson, and has the general and active management of the affairs of the MNO. It is a full-time role.
- The compensation for the role of President is part of the MNO staff compensation framework developed by Mercer Canada that was adopted by PCMNO.
- The salary range based upon the approved MNO staff compensation framework is set at $163,000 – $212,000 and is also determined based on time in role.
What else is involved in the compensation framework?
- In addition to the salary the PCMNO will receive as elected representatives, they will be provided with group benefits and retirement savings plan contributions, based on their eligibility.
How often will the compensation for each PCMNO member be reviewed?
- The level of compensation is based upon the time commitment and activity, and is set out in the Framework. Some of the roles, however, provide for a variable time commitment and, for those roles, the level of time commitment will be reviewed on an annual basis. An annual work plan template has been developed to allow for this assessment and review.
Where can I find out more about the PCMNO roles?
- Role profiles have been drafted for every position on PCMNO, and are posted on the MNO website.
What about compensation for elected leaders at a community level or in other roles?
- The Governance Compensation Framework is being implemented in a phased approach as MNO transitions to fully recognized self-government. There is work underway to consider the costs of governance at provincial, regional and local levels. More details will be shared as this work continues.
- In the interim, MNO’s leadership at the community level and community members remain eligible to receive compensation through honorariums and other stipends.