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

Vancouver Island teen with viral video headlining first concert

Lauren Spencer-Smith, formerly of Port Alberni, has been recording new songs

Port Alberni beach closed due to high bacterial count

Island Health has closed Canal Waterfront Park on the Alberni Inlet to… Continue reading

Port Alberni RCMP identify suspect in locker room thefts

Multiple complaints came in about thefts from Echo Centre lockers

Logging truck accident briefly closes Franklin River Road near Port Alberni

A single vehicle rollover involving a logging truck temporarily closed Franklin River… Continue reading

Sports shorts: camps for kids, BC lawn bowling finals in Port Alberni

Lawn bowling BCs Port Alberni Lawn Bowling Club will host the provincial… Continue reading

Rents in most Canadian cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners: study

Roughly one-third of households, or 4.7 million, are renters

B.C. government seeks advice on reviving Interior forest industry

Public website opens as meetings start with community leaders

Film features Chez Monique, an off-the-grid restaurant on West Coast Trail in B.C.

“The story we are trying to share is of the loving haven they created and sustained for decades.”

Psychics, drones being used to search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Drones, psychics, dogs and more have been employed to help find Grace Baranyk, 86

Scheer on Trump: It’s ‘offensive’ to question the family background of critics

Trump is being called a racist for saying that the four congresswomen should go back where they came from

Instagram expands Canadian pilot removing ‘like’ counts to more countries

Social media giant plans to roll out the test in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Ireland

Man involved in beating and tasering over a drug debt to be sentenced in Nanaimo

Colin Damen Gary Lamontagne pleaded guilty to charges, including aggravated assault

Pamela Anderson adds star power to B.C. Green Party town hall

Celebrity attended Nanaimo meeting with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Most Read