Forestry

Comfortable

The first part of this article was written in November 2009 and the addendum was added April 2016 and subsequently updated. I repeat this item because it demonstrates that, while applying austerity to the province’s most needy citizens, the Clark/Campbell Liberals have treated a favoured few quite differently.


In the days when the Fraser Valley had working forests, my Grandfather was its chief forest ranger, employed by the Province of BC.

An inquisitive small child, I asked Grandmother, “Are you rich?”

She said, “No, but we’re comfortable.”

Still curious, I asked, “Will you get rich?

Her reply, “No, you don’t become rich working for the government, but you can get a small pension and be comfortable.

As time went by, comfortable turned to something else. The old girl lived to be 100, four years longer than her forest ranger. But, this was a time without adjustments or indexing. You opened and ended retirement with the same pension. Life though offered them rewards in other ways. They had unending pride in the land they pioneered. Something about service to the country and making it better for 24 grandchildren.

I imagine that senior public servants in modern days are much the same, happy to build a great land and proud of commendations from the high and mighty. Some may labour for years with little notice. Others are more fortunate.

Lee Doney is one example of a loyal public servant who was noticed. He retired in 2004 after more than 30 years of service and Hon. G. Campbell paid this tribute in the Legislature (Hansard, April 27, 2004):

Today I rise to recognize the many contributions of a career public servant, Lee Doney. He’s joined today by his mother and his family.

Lee is retiring this year. Certainly, it will be a great loss to British Columbia’s public service. . . . He has, in fact, been an exemplary public servant for the last 30 years.

Mr. Doney worked hard for this province. We hope he remains healthy and isn’t forced to take on too many part time jobs to remain comfortable.

ADDENDUM – 2016

It turned out that retired public servant Doney was forced to find new employment. Despite the very generous pension afforded senior government executives, Doney has eked out a living by working in various suites of offices including those of the Public Sector Employers’ Council Secretariat (President), the Columbia Power Corporation (Chairman) and Western Forest Products Inc. (Chairman) where, according to Bloomberg, his annual compensation is $266,000. No doubt his part time employment and close relationship with BC Liberals has been helpful in WFP’s dealings with government.

Following is a recap of payments to Mr. Doney by the provincial government and Columbia Power, as reported in public documents. This may be incomplete since it does not include payments by public agencies such as the BC Treaty Commission, the Industry Training and Apprenticeship Commission, Community Living BC, etc.

doney

doney 2

For comparison, here is a listing of payments to senior public officials in Washington State. The numbers are for 2017:

WA

Categories: Forestry

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4 replies »

  1. Thank God that the dear Mr. Doney wasn't an Ambulance Worker while providing Service to his Province. I wonder how Mr. Campbell would have worded his “tribute”?

    Gary L.

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  2. RLD Strategies donated $500 to the BC Liberals back in 2005 just after the very loyal Robert Lee Doney retired, but sort of loyal Robert Lee Doney donated $500 to the NDP a couple of weeks before the last election when it looked like they were a shoo-in. RLD Strategies changed horses after that didn’t work out and gave the Libs $1900 in 2014 and $1250 in 2015. Western Forest Products followed the same pattern, donating about $25K to the NDP in the year before the last election and nothing before or since, but $350K to the Libs.

    Seems that loyalty can be fickle with those that know how the game is played.

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  3. One has to wonder what the “deliverables” looked like for the generous contract fees, or if there actually are any. It is more likely that the man’s knowledge on certain topics is just too valuable to have out in the open, where if unemployed he might do something silly like write a book of memoirs.Better than winning the lottery. The cheques keep coming.

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