The policies and guidelines below guide Members of Council in the day-to-day operations of their office and in their role as government representatives.

This information is from the 2014-2018 City Council Handbook, updated as needed.


Salaries

The remuneration and severance for Members of Council are set out in the Municipal Code, Chapter 223.

2018 Salaries
Councillor’s salary $114,306.06
Mayor’s salary $192,503.43

(City Council 2002).

During the term of Council, remuneration paid to the Mayor and Councillors is adjusted annually to the Statistics Canada Consumer Price Index for Toronto, as calculated by the Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer and based on the previous year’s average (City Council 2006).

Members do not receive additional remuneration for sitting on agencies, boards, commissions and corporations (City Council 2006), except for the Toronto Region and Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the Housing Services Corporation (HSC).

If Members wish to run in a provincial or federal election, they continue to be paid and can choose to reimburse the City for a portion of their salary.

The City Clerk and Treasurer report to Council on the remuneration and expenses for Members of Council by March 31 of the following year, as legislated by the City of Toronto Act, 2006.

(The Municipal Code Chapter 223 requirement to conduct a remuneration study before the beginning of each term was rescinded by City Council in a May 2014 decision.)

Benefits

The following benefits are provided to Members of Council:

Extended health care

  • Deductible: Nil
  • Overall maximum: Unlimited
  • Cost sharing: 100 per cent employer paid
  • Services: Please refer to the benefits booklet or contact Green Shield
  • Travel insurance

Dental coverage

  • Annual deductible: Nil
  • Fee schedule: One year lag on the current ODA for general practitioners
  • Basic services: 100 per cent reimbursement (please refer to benefits booklet or contact Green Shield on frequency limitations and requirements for quotation approval prior to service)
  • Maximum: Unlimited
  • Cost Sharing: 100 per cent employer paid

Basic group life insurance

  • Schedule: Two times base salary, rounded to next higher $1,000, if not already a multiple thereof
  • Cost sharing: 100 per cent employer paid

Optional life insurance

  • Schedule: An employee may elect coverage in units of $10,000
  • Maximum: 50 units or $500,000 for self and 20 units or $200,000 for spouse
  • Cost Sharing: 100 per cent Councillor paid

Accidental death and dismemberment

  • Schedule: Two times base salary, rounded to next higher $1,000, if not already a multiple thereof
  • Cost sharing: 100 per cent employer paid

Long term disability

  • Schedule: 75 per cent of monthly salary taxed at source
  • Qualifying period: Completion of six months of continuous disability
  • Cost sharing: 100 per cent employer paid

To request changes to benefits coverage or dependent information, submit a completed Benefits Enrolment/Information Change (Full-Time) form, available on the City intranet.

Continuation of benefits

If a Member retires, resigns, dies or is not re-elected, benefits may or may not continue.

Retirement

If a Member is over the age of 55 and has at least nine years of “credited pension service” and elects an immediate OMERS pension, he or she is entitled to lifetime retiree benefits. The nine years of “credited pension service” must be as a Member of Council of the City of Toronto (and/or former municipalities) as established under the City of Toronto Act, 2006.

Resignation

Benefits end on date of resignation.

Not re-elected

  • If a Member is over the age of 55 and has at least nine years of “credited pension service” and elects an immediate OMERS pension, he or she is entitled to lifetime retiree benefits.
  • If a Member is not-re-elected and is over age 55 and does not have nine years of “credited pensionable service” benefits at the end November 30 of that election year.
  • If a Member does not qualify to retire, benefits end November 30 of that election year.

Death

  • If a Member is over the age of 55 and has at least 9 years of “credited pension service” eligible dependents qualify for lifetime benefit coverage.
  • If a Member does not qualify for retiree benefits, then benefit coverage for eligible dependents will end on date of death, plus 30 days.

This information is from the 2014-2018 City Council Handbook, updated as needed.


OMERS is a defined benefit plan that at this time, is funded by equal contributions from employees and employers and by OMERS investment earnings. Its intention is to provide guaranteed pension benefits for enrolled members. It also provides unreduced early retirement pensions for members who are at least 55 years of age and have 30 years of municipal employment or the 90 factor (age + years of service). In addition to retirement pensions, OMERS also provides survivor and disability benefits.

Members of Council must enroll in the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), the City’s pension plan, with two exceptions:

  1. A Member is elected and is already receiving an OMERS pension. This Member may continue to receive their pension and NOT enroll, or can elect to stop receiving their pension and re-enroll.
  2. If a Member is elected and they are over the age of 71.

As per amendments to the Income Tax Act and OMERS Plan changes approved by the OMERS Sponsors Corporation, membership payments cease on November 30 of the year in which a member reaches age 71. The member is then entitled to begin receiving their OMERS pension benefit despite on-going employment.

Further information on OMERS can be obtained on its website at www.omers.com

This information is from the 2014-2018 City Council Handbook, updated as needed.


Severance is paid when Members retire, resign or are not re-elected during term of office. Severance is paid to Members who have served a minimum of 30 days, as follows:

  • 1/12 of the annual remuneration, at the rate in force immediately before the Member ceases to be a Member, for each year of consecutive service, to a maximum of 12 years of service. A pro-rated portion is paid if the Member has served less than 12 months; plus
  • An allowance of up to $3,500 for outplacement, transition or retirement counselling. Funds are only paid if the services are used and they are only available within one year of severance.

Severance may be made in two payments at the request of the Member of Council. The following is an excerpt from the Municipal Code, Chapter 223:

“No severance remuneration shall be paid where the member’s seat becomes vacant by reason of, or the member resigns and the resignation is a result of or given in the anticipation of the following:

  1. The member being disqualified to be a member of the Council under the provisions of any Act of the Parliament of Canada or any Act of the Legislature of the Province of Ontario: or
  2. The seat of the member of the Council becoming vacant by reason of the operation of any Act of the Parliament of Canada or any Act of the Legislature of the Province of Ontario.

No severance remuneration shall be paid to a member where the member is convicted of any of the following offences under the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, as amended from time to time, in connection with the member’s conduct as a member of the Council:

  1. Section 122 (breach of trust; fraud);
  2. Section 123 (municipal corruption); or
  3. Section 426 (secret commissions).”

Running for Provincial or Federal Office

Members of Council who are successful in being elected as a Member of Parliament or Member of Provincial Parliament without resigning from Toronto City Council are not paid severance.

Following are example scenarios of when severance is and is not paid:

Scenario 1:

  • A Member of Council is running for office in an upcoming federal election.
  • This Member of Council resigns from Toronto City Council before the federal election day.
  • This Member of Council is paid severance.

Scenario 2:

  • A Member of Council is running for office in an upcoming federal election. This Member of Council does not resign from Toronto City Council before the federal election day.
  • The Member of Council is successfully elected as a Member of Parliament on election day.
  • This Member of Council is not paid severance.

This information is from the 2014-2018 City Council Handbook, updated as needed.


The Human Resources Management and Ethical Framework for Members’ Staff is a consolidated framework that sets out the roles and responsibilities of Members of Council for managing the City employees under their authority, and affirms applicable City Human Resources policy requirements for Members’ staff.

The framework also sets out the ethical framework for Members’ staff and clarifies their responsibility under the existing Code of Conduct for Members of Council. As Members’ staff are not members of the public service, the policy provides clarity to the distinct roles that Members and their staff play in the effective functioning of Toronto’s government.

The Councillor Use of Civic Space Policy provides the parameters, fee structure and booking logistics whereby Councillors can book and use civic space for constituency and community events and meetings. This Policy is not for the purposes of conducting any election-related campaigns.

The City Council Handbook is provided to every Member of Council at the beginning of the term.

The handbook is divided into three volumes (PDF files):

  • Volume 1: provides information on the day-to-day operations of Council Member offices
  • Volume 2: describes the decision-making process of Council and its committees
  • Volume 3: outlines the accountability, integrity and transparency framework that governs the City

If you require these documents in another form or need other assistance to read them, please contact Lesley Ruscica, City Clerk’s Office, 416-392-7038 or lesley.ruscica@toronto.ca.

The rights of Toronto City Councillors to access information and their obligations to protect the confidentiality of information are set out in Ontario’s Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Toronto’s Code of Conduct for Members of Council.

The Guide to Access and Privacy for Councillors helps Members  understand their rights and obligations and suggests ways to exercise those rights and meet those obligations.

This information is from the 2014-2018 City Council Handbook, updated as needed.


The City of Toronto’s insurance program automatically extends coverage for all activities, programs, events, operations, etc., that are approved by or on behalf of City Council.

The City’s property and casualty insurance policy documents are held by the Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer in the office of the Manager, Insurance and Risk Management. Members have coverage under property and casualty insurance policies arranged by the City as described below.

Property Insurance

The City’s property insurance covers physical loss or damage to City-owned buildings, contents, furniture, fixtures, equipment, etc. Information on how to submit a claim to recover the cost for the loss or damage to City-owned property can be found on the City intranet.

Commercial General Liability Insurance

Commercial General Liability insurance covers Members, City employees and volunteers, while they are conducting duties on behalf of the City, for third party (public) claims from property damage, bodily injury, libel, slander and defamation suits arising from their actions.

All liability insurance policies are intended to provide defense cost coverage and to pay any compensatory damages that are legally required.

Information on how a member of the public can make a claim against the City’s policy can be found online.

Public Officials’ Errors and Omissions Liability Insurance

This insurance covers Members, City employees (including Members’ staff) and volunteers while conducting duties on behalf of the City, for liability arising from errors or omissions in the performance of professional duties.

It may also be referred to as the municipal form of directors’ and officers’ liability insurance. It applies to elected or appointed officials, officers, members of commissions, boards, units, committees and special purpose bodies operated by and under the jurisdiction of the City of Toronto.

Conflict of interest coverage is included which specifically extends coverage to Members for costs incurred in defense of legal proceedings under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act for allegations of errors, omissions, misstatement or misleading statement or neglect or breach of duty by the Council Member. A Member must uphold the Duty of Member as noted in Section 5 of the Act in order for insurance to apply. Section 5 of the Act requires a Member to refrain from participation in the decision-making process on any matter before Council if the Member has a direct or indirect financial interest in a matter.

Coverage under the policy would be denied where the elected official is found by the court to have contravened the duties set out in the Act (as required under subsection 14(1) of the Act).

Automobile

The City of Toronto provides automobile insurance for licensed vehicles owned or leased by the City. It is the responsibility of individual Members to adequately insure their private vehicles for their intended use. Members using their own vehicles for City business would claim against their own insurer for any accidents. Members should disclose to their personal insurer that they may be using their automobiles for business use.

Constituency Offices

Constituency offices in City-owned and non City-owned buildings:

Under the Parameters for Councillor Constituency Offices, all leases for constituency offices must be in the name of the City of Toronto. The City maintains commercial general liability insurance for Councillors’ constituency offices.

  • As per the Constituency Services and Office Budget Policy personal property, including furniture and equipment owned or leased by Members or their staff, is not covered by the City’s property insurance policy.  A Member may choose to insure their personal property by purchasing or extending an existing property insurance policy (on their house or apartment) to cover personal property located in their constituency office.
  • Content of a Member’s constituency office that is provided by the City is covered by the City’s property insurance policy.
  • If a Member is requested by the owner or landlord of a non City-owned building to provide evidence of insurance in the form of a Certificate of Insurance, the Member should contact Corporate Finance, Insurance & Risk Management Services.

Special Events

  • City insurance coverage automatically extends to a Member’s special events held on behalf of the City and in the Member’s capacity as an elected official (versus serving a private interest).
  • A “City event” qualifying for coverage under City insurance is generally one that is consistent with City of Toronto divisional programming, sanctioned, authorized or organized by City Council or its divisions, agencies and corporations, employees, volunteers, or Members for the benefit of the municipality or its constituency. City insurance does not extend to private non-municipal entities or interests.
  • Permits and rental applications for a Member’s special event held on behalf of the City and in the Member’s capacity as an elected official must be taken out in the name of the City of Toronto and not in the personal name of the Member.
  • A Member should not take out special events permits in the name of the City if the permit is taken out on behalf of private interests, community or special interest groups.
  • If a Member chooses to participate in community events derived from or originating from private, community or special interest groups not having their origin from a City municipal initiative, then evidence of private insurance coverage will have to be provided to the facility owner as part of the normal permit or application process.
  • If the special event takes place on non-City or Agency or Corporation-owned property, an insurance certificate may be required. If the owner of the property requests evidence of insurance in the form of a Certificate of Insurance, the Member should contact Corporate Finance, Insurance and Risk Management Services.

This information is from the 2014-2018 City Council Handbook, updated as needed.


A Member may, while acting in the scope of his or her duties, commit acts for which there is no insurance. For these instances, a Member may be eligible under the  Indemnification Policy for Members of Council  for payment of costs.

More information on insurance and risk management forms and procedures can be found on the Insurance and Risk Management intranet site.

External Board Membership Without City Council Approval

The Indemnification Policy for Council Members Serving on External Boards without City Council Approval  provides an indemnification for Members of Council who sit on the boards of external bodies in their capacity as Council Member but where there has been no appointment approved by the City. There are three ways that liability claims made against Council Members  can be covered. They are:

  • from the directors & officers liability Insurance provided by the external board;
  • from the City’s liability insurance if coverage is not available from the external board;  or
  • at the discretion of Council, from the City’s indemnification policy covering City Council Members where neither the external body’s nor the City’s insurance is available.

In order to ensure that coverage is effective, Council Members are required to conduct due diligence before serving on an external board, including determining whether the external body has its own directors’ liability insurance in place. In addition, coverage for any claims arising through Council Members serving in a board member capacity must first be pursued through the insurance coverage of the external body.