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

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

The Nanaimo Business Awards are accepting nominations now. (Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce image)
Nanaimo Business Awards accepting nominations of worthy winners

This year’s awards aren’t until the fall, but the nomination period ends June 28

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Gabriola singer-songwriter Sarah Osborne, Cowichan Valley duo Heartwood, Vancouver singer Kelly Haigh and Nanaimo bluesman David Gogo (clockwise from top-left) are among the performers in this year’s Cultivate Festival. (Photos submitted)
Gabriola Arts Council presents COVID-conscious Cultivate Festival

Theatre, music and art festival returns to Gabriola Island after 2020 hiatus

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

John A. Read, who was inspired to leave his former career to become a professional astronomer by the purchase of a $13 telescope, will give beginning astronomers key pointers on how to set up and get the best performance from their instruments at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting June 24. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Read)
Astrophysicist will talk about getting the most out of a telescope at Nanaimo astronomy meeting

John Read’s purchase of a $13 telescope led to a degree in astrophysics and a career in astronomy

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Bernadette Jordan addresses the media following a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on January 14, 2019. Jordan says the government will provide $2 million to allow First Nations to continue to strengthen the marine safety system across Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
First Nations receive federal funds to purchase marine rescue boats

Quatsino, Heiltsuk, and Kitasoo First Nation’s among eight across Canada to receive funding

Most Read