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City of Guelph

Guelph Council’s 2023 Costs Increased by $200K, Taxpayers Billed Nearly $1 Million

Guelph taxpayers shouldered nearly a $1 million bill last year for the compensation and expense reimbursements of city council, marking a stark increase of over $200,000 compared to 2021. This significant uptick can primarily be attributed to the surge in the cost of benefit claims, which leapt from $59,111 in 2021 to $176,772 in 2023. Additionally, there was a noticeable rise in expenditures on conferences and training, as indicated by a recent staff report.

Following the municipal election in 2022, councillors received a contentious 25% increase in their salaries, despite their roles being part-time, averaging 20 hours a week. With each of the 12 city councillors receiving a salary of $48,371, this equates to an approximate hourly rate of $49.36, assuming a 49-week year. This figure does not account for the additional amounts allocated for benefits and other reimbursements.


Mayor Cam Guthrie’s compensation package included a salary of $155,474, taxable benefits amounting to $37,288, and reimbursements covering cell phone expenses, conference attendance, and miscellaneous items, totaling $210,858.

The overall direct expenditure on the council escalated from $707,447 in 2021 to $962,270 in 2023, with spending on training and conferences rising from $2,355 to $36,413 over the same period. It’s also noteworthy that none of the council members maintained a perfect attendance record last year.


The substantial salary increase for councillors, who work part-time, coupled with the overall spike in council spending, necessitates a critical examination of the council’s fiscal management and its impact on taxpayers.

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