B.C. won’t scrap rich pension for Ferries boss

Breaching contract would be wrong, expensive: Lekstrom

BC Ferries vessel Coastal Celebration in dock at Tsawwassen.

The province won’t rip up the deal that promises BC Ferries CEO David Hahn a $315,000-a-year pension even though Premier Christy Clark has condemned it as far too rich.

Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom said Wednesday he was not previously aware of the arrangement but breaking it would be very costly.

“I’m not prepared to stand up and break a contract,” Lekstrom said, adding a “contract is a contract” whether it involves unionized labour or a high-profile CEO.

The comment was a reference to when Lekstrom stood on principle and voted against the BC Liberal government’s 2002 decision to tear up health sector contracts to privatize hospital support staff – a move ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada, which ordered the province to pay compensation and strengthened collective bargaining rights.

“I recognize the concern of the general public out there when we see these kinds of numbers,” Lekstrom said. “I did not know these were the numbers in the contract.”

He said government policy now limits future pay and pensions for BC Ferries executives to what is allowed in the public sector, but Hahn’s arrangement is grandfathered in.

Clark had called Hahn’s pension as “way, way too big.”

But BC Ferries board chair Donald Hayes said the legislature confirmed the pay and pension provisions in 2010 when the government amended the Coastal Ferry Act.

Hayes said in a statement the compensation package for Hahn was negotiated in 2006 at private sector rates in part to retain him in light of possible competing offers from other large private-sector firms.

Hahn’s base salary of $500,000 is topped up with a bonus and other benefits, pushing his annual pay to more than $1 million for 2011.

Just Posted

Big turnout to advance polls

On Saturday, general voting will be open to qualified electors from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Double loss sends Riders back to drawing board

Despite putting up a good fight against both Revelstoke and Creston, the… Continue reading

Gay minister challenges preconceptions

Andrea Brennan serves Fernie at pivotal time in church’s history

Documentary reveals Fernie’s role in WWI internment operations

That Never Happened to screen on 100th anniversary of Morrissey internment camp closure

Environmental monitoring meeting in Elkford tonight

Meeting to focus on environmental monitoring programs at Teck coal mines in the Elk Valley

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Meet the City of Fernie candidates

Voters in Fernie will vote for one Mayor, six Councillors and one School Board Trustee on October 20

Meet the District of Sparwood candidates

Voters in Sparwood will vote for one Mayor and six Councillors on October 20

Meet the District of Elkford candidates

The Elkford Chamber of Commerce will host an All Candidates Forum on October 4

Fernie SAR rescues mountain biker

The man sustained a neck injury while riding Today’s Special, a new trail in Fernie

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Most Read