VICTORIA– The B.C. Liberal government has failed to fix the bonus system at B.C. Ferries, as the new scheme means executives are likely to be paid the same, or in some cases more, under the new holdback system, say New Democrats.
“This is just a bonus system by another name. The only way the senior managers and executives will be paid any less is if they don’t meet their targets. If they do their job, they will continue to get the same amount of money they received with the bonus system. Meanwhile, other managers will simply have their bonuses rolled into their salary,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena. “According to the transportation minister, this thinly veiled shell game is good enough for him. That isn’t acceptable to British Columbians.”
Trevena says this disappointing failure to address the issue of executive bonuses comes just days before service cuts are announced.
“The Liberal government would like us to think that ferries executives deserve a boost to their already outrageous salaries just for doing their jobs. But across this province, people who work hard without the incentive of generous salary boosts can barely afford to use this ferry system. That just doesn’t add up,” said Trevena. “The bottom line is this: fares have shot up dramatically, ridership is down, and soon ferry users will face another blow as services are cut.”
Trevena says the situation is a result of Liberal mismanagement of B.C.’s integral ferries system, which began with the Coastal Ferries Act in 2003. She recently travelled to Washington State on a fact-finding mission to review a ferry system that has maintained far better affordability for users.
“The corporation is headed in the wrong direction, and instead of fixing the problems, this government has dragged its feet. That’s not good enough when the futures of coastal communities are on the line.”