12/12/2012 02:50 EST | Updated 02/11/2013 05:12 EST

PQ minister for international relations turns down second salary

The Parti Québécois minister for international relations has given in to media pressure and decided to start giving away one of his two salaries.

Jean-François Lisée said he will be giving up the salary and retirement fund he negotiated while working as a researcher for the University of Montreal’s international research centre.

The Liberal opposition demanded Lisée give up the extra salary on Wednesday.

In a blog post, Lisée wrote “I have access to my current salary and, for many months, the deferred salary that I earned for over eight years. As of March, I will also have access to the retirement fund from my years at the University of Montreal. What does a privileged elected official with his heart in the right place do?”

According to his post, Lisée asked the Ethics Commissioner for advice on how to handle the possible conflict involving his salaries.

He said the ethics commission told him that earning salaries he had negotiated before becoming an elected official was not illegal.

According to Radio-Canada, Lisée has been earning an annual salary of $150,924 and other benefits since winning his seat as the Rosemont representative at the national assembly.

He also earns an annual salary of $104,000 from the University of Montreal.

Starting in March 2013, Lisée will be cashing in $27,000 in severance pay.

Lisée said he decided to donate the university salary and severance pay to companies which offer training and employment to people in need in his riding of Rosemont.