The wheels and wages of democracy

Earlier, we reported on the not-so non-partisan background of electoral boundary commissioner Louise Burgart, who was appointed this week by Speaker of Legislative Assembly Bill Barisoff. As one of three such commissioners, Ms. Burgart - a Liberal campaigner whose company (Apex Mountain Resort (1997) Ltd.) contributed $2,900 to the party and $1,000 to Mr. Barisoff's 2001 election run - will be responsible for making recommendations for the redrawing of British Columbia's constituencies. And how much will she get paid for this sensitive task, you may wonder?

According to attorney general communications manager Maria Wilkie, the speaker's commission appointee receives $430 per diem - the same as a member of an administrative tribunal. In fairness, that's hardly a king's randsom. But here's a fun fact: according to our calculations, Ms. Burgart will have to work just nine days to earn back the money her company contributed to the Liberals and Mr. Barisoff. Ms. Wilkie wasn't able to say how many days the commission would be working, nor how many days the last commission worked. But Ms. Burgart and her colleagues are expected to have their first meeting before the New Year.

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