Things that still make you go "Hmmm"

This is a replay of a piece from last spring. It fits today’s subject since it demonstrates that BC’s most senior public officias aren’t playing catch-up.

Washington State schools enrol just over a million students while BC public schools register about 740,000. Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency overseeing K-12 public education. It is headed by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn who earned $121,157 in 2010. James Gorman, Deputy Minister, British Columbia Ministry of Education (0.74 million students), earns a salary of $232,000.

Washington’s largest district, Seattle Public Schools, pays Superintendent Susan Enfield (47,575 students) $225,000. North Vancouver School District Superintendent John Lewis (16,200 students) made a total of $245,891 in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, after a two year increase of 17%, or about $3,000 monthly. SOURCE Mr. Lewis has three Assistant Superintendents, each averaging $179,200 in annual compensation. Seattle, with three times as many students, has only one Assistant Superintendent. He earns a salary of $175,840.

Washington State Investment Board chief investment officer Gary Bruebaker has annual pay of $303,562. The top five paid executives of the WA State Investment Board average $244,375. British Columbia Investment Management Corporation CEO Doug Pearce earned $1,003,659 and the top five paid executives of the BC Investment Management Corporation averaged $643,862, 263% more than the five WA counterparts.

David Mosely, head of Washington State Ferries, earned $144,220 in 2010. David Hahn, head of BC Ferries, earned $997,199 plus $425,000 in supplemental retirement.

Dan Newhouse, Director of Washington State Agriculture, earned $120,151. Wes Shoemaker, British Columbia’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture, earns $232,000

Uriel R Iniguez, Executive Director of the Washington Commission on Hispanic Affairs, earned $77,954. Steve Munro, Deputy Minister of British Columbia’s Ministry of Aboriginal Relations & Reconciliation, earns $225,000.

Stan Marshburn is Executive Manager of the Office of Financial Management in Washington State. In 2010, he was the highest paid official in Washington’s OFM, earning $132,187. Peter Milburn is British Columbia’s Deputy Minister of Finance. He earns $250,000.

Brian Sonntag is Washington State Auditor. His 2010 salary was $116,950. British Columbia Auditor General John Doyle earned $314,233 in 2010-2011.

Julie A Martin heads the Washington State Lottery Commission for a salary of $112,392. The five top paid executives of Washington’s SLC cost a total of $484,574. Michael Graydon heads the BC Lottery Corporation for a salary of $421,084. The five top paid executives of BCLC collectively cost $1.57 million, some 325% more than the five highest paid Washington managers.

Washington’s State Convention and Trade Center paid its President John Cristison $196,188 and the five highest paid CTC executives averaged $145,788. Warren Buckley, CEO of the BC Pavilion Corporation earned $563,707 in 2010-11. (Despite massive capital cost overruns, higher than anticipated operating losses and difficulties with low facility occupancy, Buckley earned $100,000 incentive plan compensation for the year.) PavCo’s five highest paid executives averaged $332,923, 245% of the average paid the top five paid managers in the equivalent Washington organization.

In 2009-2010, Gordon Campbell was paid $207,494 as Premier and MLA for Point Grey. In the USA, the average Governor earned $130,595. Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire’s salary or $166,891 is tenth highest among U.S. Governors. The Governor of Oregon earned $93,600 in 2009 and our neighbour Montana paid its Governor $100,121 in 2009.

The chief administrator of the Washington State Senate is Tom Hoemann. HIs 2010 compensation was $143,691. Brad Hendrickson, Deputy Secretary of the Senate, earned $133,271. Clerk of the BC Legislature George MacMinn earned $252,560 in 2010-2011 and the 81 year-old continues to reside in his old office and is still paid despite having been replaced, over NDP objections, by Craig James, who earned $213,151 in 2010-2011 at his former position as chief electoral officer.

In British Columbia, Provincial Court judges and Supreme Court Masters earn $230,066, Supreme Court judges earn $271,400. In addition, lavish pensions for the judges cost the public approximately another 25%. In Washington, Supreme Court Justices make $164,221, District Court Judges, $141,710.  The following data is from 2008.

British Columbia’s 2010-2011 public accounts report that three Deputy Ministers averaged expenses of $52,000 each while the remaining 39 DMs and ADMs managed to survive on an average of $16,000 each..

29 replies »

  1. These salary figures just point out how a government can 'buy' support for itself through outrageous (and expensive) appointments. This present group running British Columbia give the term 'carpet baggers' an entirely new meaning. The government has changed a civil society supported by a reasonable taxation policy to a modern day robber baron free for all. Public assets sold off or 'given' away to party and family insiders. The trouble is what next from this bunch???



  2. No wonder your readership is skyrocketing. Where else can you get this information? Thank you for shining a light on what people in Victoria would like to remain in the shadows. I now watch TV News with the same respect as “Entertainment Tonight”. Thank you!


  3. Somehow “Hmmm” doesn’t do it for me. I’m more a “F%@#*^ B&%$(*&” kind of guy when I see this stuff. And thanks for putting on a pair of slacks to point this out Norm. The figures are always much more accurate when the source is dressed properly.


  4. I wish the public would remember this the next time the government defends these salaries (and their own, plus their lovely pensions) with this rationale: “We have to pay that kind of money or they will not be able to attract capable people.”

    That's a crock folks. We're so easily led here in BC. Fool us once, shame on them; fool us multiple times, shame on us.

    We're awash in PR campaigns whether it be delivered thru bought-and-sold members of the media, the government and their corporate buddies, the NDP and their union buddies, all of them.

    No one (except Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond and the Auditor General) is doing anything that we can trust to support and protect the general public. Not judges, not the police, not the ombudswoman, not the police commissioner, not the FOI commissioner, none of them.

    Some are worse than others, but they all operate by secrecy, deception and intimidation (with those 2 exceptions).


  5. Let us not forget the political appointees at the Health Boards, translink & the like.
    This Governmnet has milked the taxpayer of his income & Public assets for the betterment of insider individuals.
    What has happened is not even a political ideology cock up ; rather it's rape & pilage for the benefit of a few.


  6. The multiplier effect is at work here. The decision makers are willing to suppress the mass of workers but treat their own comparables generously, knowing that the same generosity will be applied to them. So, the result is that net zero is applied to most employees but large scale raises are contagious in the management level. It is not only the civil service that works this way, the corporate world does as well, explaining why pay scales of senior management have risen much above the rate of inflation. The justification is that we need to recruit and retain the best and the brightest but it is a self-serving argument.

    Was David Hahn at about $1.4 million each of the last few years achieving more than David Mosley at WA State Ferries, at about one tenth of Hahn's cost? The American system has more vehicle and passenger loadings each year than BC Ferries and, to be honest, management of our ferry system is anything but complex. They're not searching for new ways to address new markets, largely they're shuttling back and forth between fixed points with very little change. BC Ferries lags behind other systems in innovation (natural gas propulsion for example). Yet, all of Hahn's associates were cheerleaders for his fabulous deal and now his replacement still earns four times what the CEO in Washington earns.


  7. There's only one conclusion to be drawn from these figures, Norm. The BC Libs HAVE to pay salaries like these to attract the best and the brightest. Nanananaah to Washington – they obviously have public employees very much inferior to our own. So take that, Washington!


  8. And they say thatthere is no corruption in the BC Liberal government !

    I guarantee tha the Washington State ferry system is run much better than the BC ferry system and generates more money too.

    This kinda leaves a person speechless doesn't it !



  9. Great one Norm. That really puts things into perspective. The next step would be to see how their expense accounts compare. These pigs up here stick their snouts into the trough deep and suck down a bunch. The scariest part of all is that you haven't even gotten to the premiers office yet.


  10. Does Craig James, Clerk of the Assembly at the Legislature, have a counterpart in Washington State and, if so, do you know how much he is paid?


  11. OK. I have to add my 2 cents….excuse me, nickel. I am an American, married a Canadian and now reside in BC. I thought that I was moving to nice, civil, friendly Canada. What a surprise! The comment about the Carpet Baggers really hits home. All governments have some degree of corruption, but I am absolutely aghast at what is going on in BC. Can't you guys get rid of these idiots? I also have 2 questions: 1) How can the “Liberal” party that is supposed to be moderate, end up as right wing loose cannons in BC? Doesn't the national party have some control? I am mystified. 2) Please someone explain to me how vapid Christy Clark with her low IQ gets her cleavage showing right under her chin? I am a woman, and still do not understand. I also have other questions, but I am right up there with Lew and his #$%^&%$% this comment.


  12. Perhaps the typical tolerance and passivity of Canadians makes us ripe for becoming victims of political and economic fraud. We've never had to seriously fight for much so we've taken democratic rights for granted.

    I have been amazed that, with little more than a shrug, Canadians tolerate higher prices on retail goods and services (cable and internet, for example). Even cars built in Ontario are sold for significantly less in the USA than in Canada. Metals mined in BC, even lumber produced here, can be purchased for less south of the border.


  13. It's amazing how those less capable Americans can get by on such low salaries. Maybe they are better at managing their personal affairs better than our leaders are. Besides, they get to write off their Mortgage payments, for whatever that's worth.

    Seriously though, shouldn't we consider farming out our whole scurrilous crew to the State of Washington? Or consider amalgamating, as long as they're in charge.


  14. First time here…not the last.
    Thanks for doing the research and sharing the numbers with those who compliantly pay. I do have one criticism; in describing the salaries you used the term, 'earn'. I'd prefer to see 'are paid'. Again, thanks, gs


  15. I agree! I don't (usually) begrudge anyone a good salary, a cost of living increase, or a profit when in business, BUT when everyone else 'below' these people are not entitled to any of the same considerations (net zero means lessening conditions for students, patients or clients to get a small raise), THEN I am outraged. The hypocrisy and lack of leadership by example is infuriating. For some to get bonuses based on their department staying under budget (going without or cutting corners) brings out the very worst in human nature and ultimately defeats longer term morale, productivity, and efficiency.


  16. This comparison is meaningless. Comparing disposible income would be a more accurate approach. The US tax system is way different then Canada's and their cost of living is way lower. Car's are cheaper, houses are cheaper, gas, food and so on. Could you imagine being able to deduct the interest on your mortgage off of your income tax? Do a net income comparision and those numbers will be alot closer.


  17. Have you looked at the salaries paid to the executives at CPPIB, Ontario Teachers, HOOP, PSPIB and the Caisse? The guys at British Columbia Investment Management Corporation are a bargain!!!


  18. We are stuck in a zone where there are rich working people, and poor working people and if they can create an end zone for themselves where they benefit and people who have worked a lifetime don't they are really laughing at us. I wish they had read the Republic, or cared about justice. Being wealthy means a big motor home, the best parking spot, the most expensive food, while the rest have tents, and have to pack water from the tap. Rich = Power. Poor = someone to caddy for the rich.


  19. “It is headed by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn who earned $121,157 in 2010.”

    I'd think that most BC school district superintendents make at least that much… and often have assistant superintendents or district directors making close to that. Mind you, the provincial government's requirement to report facts and figures has grown exponentially over the years — and that requires more staff.

    Silly, and wasteful.


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