BC Ferries

Talking tough, empty words and empty head

There is nothing more laughable than a politician trained in nothing providing direction to executives of the province’s $14-billion dollar monopoly insurer. Speaking to ICBC, British Columbia’s chief law officer “delivered a firm reminder that there has been a public backlash to recent revelations about compensation for Crown executives.”

In the past, we’ve seen that words fall easily from the mouth of Shirley Bond. Her main qualifications for government was service as a small city School Trustee and the backing of mentor Doug Walls, then a troubled Prince George car dealer who was also a relative, friend and confidante of Gordon Campbell, at least until Walls was convicted of fraud, the point at which the Premier could no longer remember knowing him.

In one of the sad injustices of the Campbell regime, the leader imposed Walls on Minister of Children and Family Development Minister Gordon Hogg, identifying him as a valued ally who was to be kept comfortable. Shirley Bond assured Hogg that she had great confidence in the man’s ability and his integrity. Oops. When Walls left in disgrace, Hogg also took the fall, despite being the politician least involved in this corruption. He continued to be elected and his colleagues provided recognition by selecting Hogg to chair the Liberal caucus after they gave Campbell the bum’s rush.

Remember when Shirley Bond cracked down on the brass at BC Ferries? Expect about the same when it comes to ICBC.

Who knows if the A.G. ( I wish I were joking with that title) actually believes what she says. Perhaps she thinks that wagging her finger in the press is how one leads a complex operation. It didn’t work with BC Ferries but, maybe it will work with ICBC. We’ll see.

One thing is certain though. Bonuses will be paid. Think about it. They’re running a monopoly insurance company selling liability insurance that every driver in the province must buy, by law. They can set rates at whatever level it takes to earn a profit but even that is irrelevant because the ICBC accountants have reserves for reserves and they can even defer their deferrals and come up with a paper profit. It’s a well practised art where they build wiggle room into wriggle room.

Of course, you say, executives don’t earn full bonuses unless they meet their targets. That brings forward a simple question. Who set the targets? Well, the executives who take home the bonuses set the targets. It works the same way at PavCo where the top folks earn regular bonuses despite unending financial losses from operations. Amazingly though, they always make their targets.

Categories: BC Ferries, BC Liberals, ICBC

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7 replies »

  1. When I began reading this article and the phrase” politician trained in nothing” I sincerely thought you would be talking about our premier, The Honourable Christy Clark. Be that as it may, thank you for this information re: bonuses. Very interesting. Very depressing.


  2. Lorne, it's not a coincidence is it. The ghosts skulking behind the scenes (Hello, Mr. Kinsellla) don't want bright, knowledgeable and, worst of all, independent hands on the levers of power. They want servants obedient to the real masters.

    This is something Christy Clark must understand.

    “You're not there to think, Christy, read the script.”


  3. When you have idiots running the how, don't be surprised at the results.

    I found Shirley bond vacuous when she was Minister of Transportation and she is more so in her present job.


  4. The targets are more about paying a dividend to the buffoons in power who will keep pay high and bonuses higher by meeting certain targets for a cash strapped government. Think how cheap insurance could be without overpaid executives, bonuses to same and without the payoff to themselves that the liberal government take from safe drivers.


  5. Yes, in the great “game” that has become “politics” in this province, it is the one who controls the strings of the “puppets”, that must decide. He is, truly the one who plays, not the “mindless” puppets. Perhaps it is “he” who should consider, if it is time, to end this “round” of the game. These people, the BC liberals, who say they speak for us, are truly, done.


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