While the economic fortunes for many Canadians may be sputtering in this current recession, such is not the case at the top of the cash pile of British Columbia's Crown Corporations. With the average British Clolumbian pulling in around 45 thousand or so a year, and a good many of us get by on much less, over in the corner offices of the Crown Corporations, things are looking pretty good.
The Office of the Auditor General has just released his latest report (which some suggest should always have an October 31st time stamp) detailing how much reward comes at the end of the day for British Columbia's senior managers of the many Crown Corporations in the province.
Leading this years parade to the Pay Window is the head of the BC Pavilion Company, the provinces crown corporation in charge of BC Place, where the top job pulls in a top salary of 597,438 dollars, all of that to oversee a staff of 151 and to look over the plans for the new retractable roof.
Next in line at the bank is the head pooh bah at something called Partnerships BC, a rather new creation of the Campbell government which we suspect is designed to push forward one of the BC Liberals favourite programs, that of the pubic-private partnership project. For the requirement of reading over proposal after proposal provided by a staff of 38, the pay rate is pretty good, the CEO job pulls in 509,453 dollars per year.
Watching over other people's money is something that can bring in a fair chunk of same for yourself. Over at the BC Securities Commission 189 employees keep an eye on the pursuit of profit (well the investors are hopeful we imagine) in securities trading. Though we wonder if any stock option could provide the return of the Chairman's pay cheque of 549,092 dollars.
There's money in electricity, punching the time clock at BC Hydro's top job has its rewards with a pay envelope of 549,923 dollars, which probably makes for fascinating discussion amongst the 4483 employees of the Hydro corporation.
Taking that electricity down a transmission line surely energizes the head of the BC Transmission Corporation, where 463,359 dollars is the top compensation for overseeing a staff of 367 as they keep the flow of that current moving around the province.
There were a few bargains to be had in the report, The head of the BC Innovation Council is pretty innovative, managing to get by with a staff of 14 and a top salary of but 101,599 dollars, though that is only a partial cash count as the new boss had only been on the job partway through 2008.
And much as we like to complain about our insurance rates, we may find a little comfort with the knowledge that for this year at least, our premiums aren't all destined to high office rewards. While there seem to be a fair amount of employees on staff, the CEO of ICBC could seem like a bargain this year, listed with a pay packet of 103,710 dollars, though once again that is only a partial result owing to the timing of the hiring.
But by far, we suspect that the best gig of the bunch is over at BC Rail, where 30 employees help out apparently as they track the progress of the BC Ports Strategy and Pacific Gateway Strategy. And while there's little in the way of rail cars, engines or track for that matter, it's a place where keeping an eye on the day to day of a railway with nowhere to go brings in 494,182 dollars for the top executive. Which sure makes for a great way to spend the live, long day.
The full report has been posted online for your leisure hour reading, you can add up the payroll numbers by checking out Appendix A at the very end of the report.