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Elected officials earn ‘reasonable’ compensation, Canmore

CANMORE – Mayor John Borrowman earned a total compensation package of $92,318 in 2018, slightly more than last year, according to the Town’s consolidated financial statements.
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Canmore Mayor John Borrowman will join Calgary delegates at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February if the city votes to move ahead with its 2026 Winter Olympic and
Canmore Mayor John Borrowman.

CANMORE – Mayor John Borrowman earned a total compensation package of $92,318 in 2018, slightly more than last year, according to the Town’s consolidated financial statements. 

The full-time mayor earned a baseline salary of $80,581 plus an additional $11,737 in benefits and allowances. In 2017 he earned a total compensation package of $91,228.

“It’s a big job and it’s not an easy job,” said Borrowman, during an interview on May 9.

“There’s a lot of stress and a lot of sleepless nights.”

The mayor’s compensation package is in line with his counterpart in Banff, who earned a total compensation package of $90,370 in 2018, including a baseline salary of $81,357 salary and $9,013 in benefits and allowances. 

Borrowman said he felt his level of remuneration was “reasonable” given the complexity of the job. 

“You recognize going into it that this is not a nine to five job, five days a week,” said Borrowman. “Sometimes it takes me 45 minutes to get a loaf of bread because there are five or six people that I bump into and they want to ask some questions or have a conversation and that’s great, that’s part of the work I’m happy to do.” 

He said one of the biggest challenges as an elected official in a small community is balancing his public life with his private life. 

“In a small community we’re making decisions on behalf of all residents and many of those residents are friends that I socialize with and I think it adds a level of difficulty that doesn’t exist in larger municipal governments.” 

He said it’s also important to recognize that the Town needs to pay elected officials a sufficient income in order to attract people to the job. 

“If we’re OK with these positions being filled primarily by retired people that have the financial means, then fine, but if we want everybody to feel they have an opportunity to serve on council, but the remuneration is stopping people from running, that’s not a good thing.”  

Councillor Joanna McCallum received the highest salary of Canmore’s six part-time councillors in 2018 earning $37,566 plus $8,719 in benefits and allowances. The lowest paid councillor was Emse Comfort who earned a salary of $32,856 plus $6,903 in benefits and allowances. 

Lisa de Soto, Canmore’s chief administrative officer, earned a total compensation package of $242,411, including a salary of $213,836 and $28,575 in benefits and allowances. 

“It’s a big job; this is not some little backwater town,” said Borrowman, explaining the CAO leads an organization with more than 200 employees. 

“It’s a big organization and there’s a lot happening on the ground and there’s a big budget.”





Paul Clarke

About the Author: Paul Clarke

Paul Clarke has spent the past four years working as a community news reporter in Jasper, Banff and Canmore.
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