VANCOUVER — Former prime minister Stephen Harper is expected to resign his seat in Parliament in the coming days or week ahead.
Harper, 57, resigned as leader of the Conservative party on election night in October after losing his attempt at a fourth term.
Stephen Harper waves as he leaves the stage after addressing supporters at an election night gathering in Calgary, Alta., on October 19, 2015. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/CP)
Since then, the Calgary Heritage MP has popped in and out of the House of Commons, casting 99 votes. He has not, however, spoken a single word in Parliament. He has not spoken at committee meetings either or sponsored any legislation.
But he continues to collect the base MP salary of $170,400.
Canadian Taxpayers' Federation federal director Aaron Wudrick said he doesn't begrudge Harper's extra time in the Commons. He noted former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin also hung around Parliament after he lost in 2006. Martin served his full term and did not run again in 2008.
While Harper continues to cash his paycheque and accrue his pension benefits, Wudrick said the former prime minister deserves kudos for cutting his own entitlements by $2 million.
Pension changes cost Harper millions
The Canadian Taxpayers' Federation estimates that changes Harper made to the MPs' pension plan personally cost him between $1.8 million and $2.2 million.
Harper is still expected to collect an estimated $127,000 MP pension annually the moment he resigns and another $58,000 a year as prime ministerial allowance after he turns 67, Wudrick noted.
"I don't know too many politicians that would give up millions of dollars and he did, so we are certainly applauding him pretty loudly on that particular point."
Last December, Harper registered a consultancy business, Harper & Associates Consulting Inc., with former chief of staff Ray Novak and former executive assistant Jeremy Hunt. Both are listed as company directors.
Stephen Harper talks to Ray Novak at a campaign stop in North Vancouver, B.C. on August 12, 2015. (Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/CP)
Over the past several months, Novak and Hunt have been meeting with potential clients in the U.S. and Middle East.
Former policy director Rachel Curran is also involved in the project.
Harper is also expected to announce he will be joining law firm and serve in an advising capacity.
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