On one hand:
- In 2001, British Columbia’s NDP Government set the minimum wage at $8 per hour. After eight years of BC Liberal administration, it remains at $8 per hour, the lowest in Canada. An individual on minimum wage working 35 hours a week earns $14,560 in a year.
On the other hand:
- In 2007, a retroactive pension windfall worth an average of more than $800,000 per member went to 41 lucky MLAs, almost all BC Liberals.
- The new Vancouver convention centre, originally to cost $495 million, was completed with a final budget for $883.2 million. According to a report from the Auditor General, there is no guarantee that this will be the actual final cost.
- Despite finishing the convention centre project $388 million over original budget, B.C. Pavilion Corporation CEO Warren Buckley was paid $597,438 for fiscal 2009 (including a bonus of $125,000), up from a reported $127,016 the preceding year.
- In 2007, British Columbia’s highest paid public servant was fired B.C. Lottery Corp. CEO Vic Poleschuk who earned $929,027, about the amount 64 full time workers would earn at minimum wage.
- David Hahn, B.C. Ferries CEO, guided the company to declining ridership and rising fares. He earned $1,034,680 including salary and bonuses during fiscal 2009 and Executive VPs Michael Corrigan, Glen Schwartz, Robert Clarke and Trafford Taylor had compensation packages for the same period that ranged from $485,509 to $561,747.
- Adrienne Salvail-Lopez, Vice Chair, B.C. Securities Commission earned $851,206 in 2007.
- Larry Blain, CEO of Partnerships BC earned $503,424 with $32,140 expenses in 2008.
- Premier Campbell saw his annual compensation rise by 48.1% between 2006/07 and 2007/08. That was a one-year hike of $60,951.
- In 2001, MLAs’ pay package and legislative operations cost $36.3 million, or $484,000 per MLA. In 2008, that grew 60% to an estimated $58.1 million, or more than $735,000 for each MLA.
- In total, MLA and cabinet minister compensation grew from $8 million to nearly $9.7 million between 2006/07 and 2007/08. That’s an increase of 20.3 per cent — and does not include increased payments made to the MLAs’ pension plan.
- Two years after B.C.’s Liberal government dealt its top political staff a 25-per-cent pay hike, it gave them another boost — ranging from 22 per cent at the low end to 43 per cent for Premier Gordon Campbell’s deputy minister. Retroactive to Aug. 1, 2008, Jessica McDonald has seen her $243,936 salary level boosted to $348,600 — about $100,000 more a year. Lara Dauphinee, Premier Campbell’s companion and assistant, had a 2002 salary of $87,000. Her fiscal 2008 salary was $138,926 and she is reported to have one of the government’s largest expense accounts. About 20 other deputy ministers were dealt a raise of 35 per cent, with salaries rising from $221,760 to a maximum of $299,215. About 80 assistant deputy ministers go from $160,000 to a maximum of $195,000.
- BC Railway Company paid four senior executives in excess of $1.2 million in both 2007 and 2008 despite having sold its fundamental assets in 2003.
- After less than two years service, UNBC President Don Cozzetto resigned and, in addition to salary, was paid nearly $600,000 in severance, pension, relocation, tuition waivers, housing allowance, car allowance and vacation payout.
Read Will Mcmartin’s Huge Pay Raises, the Silent Issue in archives of The Tyee.