B.C. Ferries board boosts pay
The BC Ferries board is under fire after it voted itself a hefty new pay package.
Directors there took a 60 per cent pay hike from $30,000 to $48,000 effective April 1 and the board chair now earns $140,000 – up from $105,000. Directors also get $1,500 per meeting.
New Democrats demanded transportation minister Kevin Falcon force the board to roll back the increases, noting they came the same day as fare hikes for passengers.
Falcon said he called the BC Ferries board chair to criticize the increase.
“I thought that was far too generous an increase,” Falcon said. “We didn’t think that was a particularly wise decision.”
But Falcon said the new ferry corporation structure was set up to insulate it from politicians so the correct decisions could be made.
“They are independent,” he said. “They have the ability to make those decisions independent of political interference.”
A cabinet order limits board pay for Crown corporations to $30,000 for chairs, $15,000 for directors and $750 per meeting.
But that doesn’t apply to BC Ferries board, government officials say, because it is not technically a Crown corporation. Although the province is the only shareholder, it directly appoints only two directors (the rest are named by communities and stakeholders) and as a result the board is exempt from the province’s pay rules.