BC Ferries

Michael Smyth’s “scoop”

Last Sunday, Province columnist Michael Smyth asked and answered a question about a floating gravy train:

“How does B.C. Ferries boss David Hahn’s salary compare with that of his counterpart in Washington state?

The answer: There is none.

Hahn bagged more than $1.1 million in total last year. By comparison, David Moseley, the top executive at Washington State Ferries, made $144,768 in 2009, the most recently available figure.

Hahn bagged more than $1.1 million in total last year. By comparison, David Moseley, the top executive at Washington State Ferries, made $144,768 in 2009, the most recently available figure.

…The bottom line: We’re getting ripped off. Big time.

Readers of In-Sights already knew this, and more. In 2010, Carry on cruising, carry on regardless examined executive salaries at BC Ferries and made comparisons to other large ferry operators:

To repeat, David Hahn is paid almost eight times the salary of the WSF CEO and is paid more than the CEO of Stena AB, an international corporation far larger than BC Ferries.

By any measure, BC Ferries is paying far too much executive compensation, particularly since operations of the company are no better managed than in earlier years. The Spirit Class ferries built in the early nineties remain the largest and most efficient ships in the fleet and outperform the Coastal Class ferries acquired more recently by Mr. Hahn and his helpers.”

Read also Giant paydays proved unsinkable  where we examined the BC Liberals’ promise to slash top salaries at BC Ferries. Of course, that turned out to be just another meaningless political promise.

Categories: BC Ferries

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12 replies »

  1. David Hahn has not improved ferry service one bit. He and his highwaymen continually churn this out when trying to justify his outrageous salary. Here in the smaller gulf islands he has made decisions that feel like they are motivated by hatred towards this part of the system rather than someone trying to improve service. They just don't care because they don't have to.


  2. Norman,

    We have had a DECADE of Dishonesty, Deception and Deceit form the BC Liberals, right up until the time that Campbell resigned in disgrace over his own dishonesty. With Christy Clark as the new premier, nothing has changed at all – same lies and deception as before. The same cabinet ministers continue to lie and misrepresent as before. Shirley Bond, Rich Coleman, Kevine Falcon et al, are no different.

    What we literally have is a government ruling on nothing but lies on top of lies – they got elected on lies. There is absolutely nothing good about them for British Columbia – on so many fronts. They deliberately sold BC Rail, BC Hydro, BC Gas, sold off the rivers – made BC Hydro pay four times the regular rate for electricity that can only be generated for part of the year – and the list just grows bigger.

    It seems now, that through the Norwegian owned fish farms, the BC Liberal government is hell bent on destroying the natural salmon fishery only to be replaced by unhealthy fish farm salmon.

    Thanks for highlighting the ferry fiasco – but then who in the current BC Liberal government has knowledge and principles ? It is nothing more than “pigs feeding at the public trough”.

    It will take a lot of civil unrest, demonstrations and riots before anything gets done – mark my words.

    Keep up the good work sir.

    Thank you


  3. What really caught my attention recently was hearing David Hahn on two occasions talk about “the problems of the past” and how difficult & time consuming it's been to correct past mistakes. So here's a guy that sounds more like a politician scamming everyone in thinking he's had a tough taking BC Ferries from a dying entity to the current world class travel company. He's actually been using that excuse to secure his position & bonuses. Let's also not forget his latest threat that he was being recruited. Go figure, the liberals who claim they can't do anything about his golden salary should have offered to write him a letter of reference. Something else Norm that has me thinking. I've heard rumours about his previous positions. Is it true that his resume is not all it's made out to be. Someone should be calling his previous employers for a bit of history ?

    Guy in Victoria


  4. My friends who work for BC Ferries have related an interesting story about the German Boats or as I call them “Das Zitrones”.

    It seems, not only are the boats gas guzzlers, the massive prop wash has undermined all the ferry docks that that the boats use.

    I have been told that the cost to reconstruct the ferry docks exceeds $100 million. The cost may even approach $200 million and are hidden under the dock renovation file.

    It seems thses boats were designed to handle European style stone and cement ferry docks and not our wood piling style we use here.

    What problems BC Ferries had in the past have continued under the Hahn/Campbell regime.


  5. Here's another comparison — the head of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) makes less than $500,000, and that’s after getting a raise a couple weeks ago when a new person took the helm.

    The IMF runs world-wide finances — of countries, not a small regional transport and gift shop operation.

    We’re such chumps here in BC, dupes of our corrupt government and their compliant toady media.


  6. You need to look at see what Mr. Hahn has accomplished to see if he is really worth all that money.
    Take a look at what has happened to the BCFMW union under Mr. Hahn, it has been split apart, the union is now only made up of deckhands and catering staff. The union will no longer be in a position to gain any benefits for its members. The officers are gone to management and their clout has gone with them.
    From what was deemed a most militant union to a voice in the dark.

    If Mr. Hahn was hired to gut the union, he has done a good job and deserves his pay.


  7. Good point Anonymous. That union certainly was worth gutting. Things had grown so out of balance that a coastal ferry worker was actually able to support a family. I knew one greedy widow who, after the father of her six children was killed in a logging “accident”, went to work for BC Ferries. Despite being at the edge of poverty throughout their childhood, all of the six kids turned out fine and are productive citizens.

    Yeah, living wages are sure trouble for this province.


  8. I think truth be known is that this government would see Mr. Hahn double his salary again and his pension and still not do a thing about it!
    The Liberal Government is afraid of Mr. Hahn exposing some of the shenanigans he and Mr. Campbell have pulled in the recent past such as when purchasing ferries from Germany borrowing another 500 million from them to show, when laundered through the ferry system, as income for the government. These monies being borrowed at very high interest rates all at taxpayers expense.
    This government is known for destroying contracts on a daily basis so why ate they afraid of one man?
    This is a perfect opportunity to gain some respect from the public by doing what is right but sadly they don't see it this way to their detrement.


  9. Also significant is the Fast Ferry myth that Hahn played along with. Vessels that could be in service here are now in the Persian Gulf. This was a very costly game for BC taxpayers but it served the Liberal Party very well.


  10. Hahn is from New York, New York holds a minimum of $35 Billion in BC debt…rather odd when one considers that the monies could have been borrowed from a Canadian bank, so we pay ourselves interest.

    Maybe Mr. Hahn isn't here so much for BC Ferries as he is to make sure his State is well served by their new serf? How, and Who better to keep their finger on the pulse?


  11. Good point from Anon 4:45 PM.

    There certainly are tight – and very personal – links between New York's financial industry and BC:

    Both of Gordon Campbell's sons worked for many years in the bowels of the junk bond traders, the mortgage meltdown, lending agency frauds, the investment banker bailouts by taxpayers, …

    Perhaps the sons still work there. Nah, they've probably bailed that scene with their loot by now, before the old man's deeds catch up with them all.


  12. CC..:)…that only proves an old adage: Children learn by what they see! Or, the apple never falls far from the tree.


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