It was another year of full steam ahead for incentive bonuses handed out to BC Ferries executives.

Ongoing bonuses at BC Ferries send ‘wrong message’

Incentive pay for brass rose when extra subsidy created surplus

Despite rising fares and looming service cuts, top executives at BC Ferries still collected big performance bonuses this year.

President and CEO Michael Corrigan got a $64,421 “incentive payment” on top of a base salary that was up eight per cent to $364,000 for a total of $563,000 in overall remuneration – the maximum allowed after a cap on payouts was put in place last year.

BC Ferries’ executive compensation disclosure says Corrigan’s bonus reflects his “exemplary leadership” that was borne out by the corporation beating its financial target for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Chief financial officer Robert Clark got more than $133,000 in incentive pay and executive vice-president Glen Schwartz got an extra $127,000 based on  performance.

Both of their bonuses were almost twice as high as a year earlier and the two collected close to $500,000 overall.

None of the payouts are anywhere near as high as the more than $1 million that former CEO David Hahn received in some past years until he left the corporation and the government eliminated additional long-term bonuses and imposed the compensation cap.

Managers were eligible for their full incentive pay this year because of the $15-million surplus BC Ferries posted for last year.

In the previous two years, they got only half as much incentive pay because the corporation missed its financial targets.

But NDP critic Nicholas Simons said the new surplus is a fiction because of additional subsidies the province injected.

“The only reason they got their full bonuses was because the government provided that increased service fee,” Simons said.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone wasn’t available for an interview but issued a statement saying the executive payouts send the “wrong message” at a time when BC Ferries is struggling to reduce its expenses.

He said he will speak to the BC Ferries board to outline the province’s expectations for all executives at Crown corporations.

“While BC Ferries isn’t a Crown corporation, they do receive provincial government funding and we would expect them to follow suit,” Stone said. “Government is tightening its belt, along with many British Columbians, and I believe that BC Ferries should take the same approach.”

Simons, however, said the BC Liberals have had plenty of time to act.

“Four ministers in a row have been saying how disappointed or disturbed or shocked they are when they see this exorbitant compensation,” Simons said. “The reality is they’ve done nothing about it.”

The Powell-River Sunshine Coast MLA said his constituents are apoplectic because they’re ferry-dependent and have seen fares rise on average 75 per cent over the last 10 years.

BC Ferries has reduced its executive by almost half and cut their overall salaries by more than 50 per cent, Stone noted.

Just Posted

Victoria People’s Party candidate says campaign signs stolen around city

PPC candidate Alyson Culbert says she finds theft ‘disturbing’

Sidney could take additional action around speculation tax

Council to consider steps later this fall after staff review of provincial statistics

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Andrew Berry trial nears end, Victoria joins tree-planting pledge and more

Three second-half goals lead Cavalry over Victoria’s Pacific FC

Cavalry FC downed Pacific FC 4-1 on Sunday in Canadian Premiere League action

Island music trivia tournament a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read