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

Elk Valley mine deaths prompt safety initiatives

Teck produces educational video, introduces new procedures after contractor drowns at Fording River

Fernie SAR rescues stranded snowmobiler; buried skier

Skiers caught in Mt. Fernie avalanche; snowmobiler spends night in backcountry after breakdown

Elk Valley RCMP issues 40 traffic tickets in 21 days

Logging truck driver fined after trailer wheels catch alight

East Kootenay illicit drug overdose deaths lowest in B.C.

Local expert credits harm reduction efforts; declares support for legalization of opioids

Donations pouring in for injured Fernie man

GoFundMe page for Rick Kennedy reaches $17,639

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

GALLERY: Fernie Ghostriders get their home game mojo back

Riders post 6-1 win over Columbia Valley Rockies; prepare for playoffs

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

Most Read