The Wildrose Official Opposition has announced the creation of the Wildrose Caucus Foundation — a registered fund that will make annual charitable donations using the extra pay MLAs received as a result of last year’s eight-per-cent MLA pay hike.
Shortly after the November 2012 PC-approved MLA pay hike — which saw annual MLA salaries increase from $145,000 a year to $156,000 — the 17-member Wildrose caucus unanimously agreed to set up a charitable fund and donate their increase in pay.
The foundation is co-chaired by Wildrose MLAs Kerry Towle and Bruce McAllister and directed by a committee of six MLAs.
The first donation from the Wildrose Caucus Foundation will be given to the Little Warriors Foundation, an organization that directly supports children who have been victims of sexual abuse.
The $25,000 donation will go toward to the creation of the Be Brave Ranch, a first-of-its-kind longterm treatment centre for kids who have been sexually abused in Canada. Little Warriors, an Edmonton-based organization, has raised $1.6 million from donors and supporters towards the approximate $3.5 million cost of establishing the camp.
“Our caucus was united in our opposition to the MLA pay hike the PCs brought in last year and we are united in deciding to do something about it,” Wildrose leader Danielle Smith said. “I am proud of every single Wildrose MLA for stepping up and doing the right thing and I look forward to being able to help out hard-working charities that do invaluable work in our communities.”
Smith implored MLAs from all sides of the Legislature who didn’t agree with the PC pay hike to refuse the pay hike, donate it to charity, or contribute it to the Wildrose Caucus Foundation.
“We believe this money was never rightfully ours. We are simply giving it back to the front lines. We hope others decide to join us,” Smith said.
The Wildrose Caucus Foundation will make annual donations to charitable organizations that deliver services in priority areas such as health care, education and justice.