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Ministry of Finance releases salaries of B.C.'s highest paid executives

These were the highest paid executives in B.C.'s public sector in 2019-20
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Photo: Dr. Andrew Szeri / UBC

Today, the Ministry of Finance disclosed the total compensation paid to senior management employees working in B.C.'s key decision-making positions across B.C.’s public sector.

This is the 13th year in a row that the ministry has released this information, and it states that it is, "committed to ensuring that executive compensation is fair and transparent for the public, and that public sector boards are held accountable for their compensation decisions."

While the authority of the Public Sector Employers Act does not include K-12 public school superintendents, the ministry notes that there is an expectation the boards of education responsible for these compensation decisions will honour the spirit and intent of this direction.

The Public Sector Employers Act requires disclosure of an organization’s CEO/president and the next four highest-ranking or highest-paid executives with decision-making authority, earning an annualized base salary of $125,000 or more during the previous fiscal year.

These disclosure requirements apply to more than 120 of B.C.’s public sector employers, including the public service, Crown corporations, post-secondary institutions, research universities and health authorities. The 60 K-12 school districts disclose by the end of the year.

The highest paid executives in B.C.'s public sector in 2019-20 are as follows:

1. Thomas Bechard, president and CEO, Powerex

Salary: $358,800
Holdback/bonus: $540,000
Benefits: $19,249
Pension: $17,474
All other compensation: $2,322
Total compensation 2019-20: $937,845
Total compensation 2018-19: $938,499

2. Santa J. Ono, president and vice-chancellor, University of British Columbia

Salary: $475,483
Holdback/bonus: $0
Benefits: $12,372
Pension: $46,572
All other compensation: $70,798
Total compensation 2019-20: $605,225
Total compensation 2018-19: $601,772

3. Chris ORiley, president and CEO, BC Hydro

Salary: $370,190
Holdback/bonus: $30,871
Benefits: $22,330
Pension: $93,658
All other compensation: $49,035
Total compensation 2019-20: $566,084
Total compensation 2018-19: $554,900

4. Shelley Legin, CFO and vice-president administration, Vancouver Island University

Salary: $162,574
Holdback/bonus: $0
Benefits: $8,801
Pension: $16,810
All other compensation: $333,371
Total compensation 2019-20: $521,556
Total compensation 2018-19: $231,995

5. Brenda Leong, chair, BC Securities Commission

Salary: $452,039
Holdback/bonus: $0
Benefits: $10,980
Pension: $44,526
All other compensation: $7,658
Total compensation 2019-20: $515,203
Total compensation 2018-19: $502,848

6. Nicolas Jimenez, president and CEO, ICBC

Salary: $390,606
Holdback/bonus: $0
Benefits: $16,302
Pension: $49,607
All other compensation: $18,165
Total compensation 2019-20: $474,680
Total compensation 2018-19: $468,783

7. Andrew Szeri, vice-president academic and provost, University of British Columbia

Salary: $402,441
Holdback/bonus: $0
Benefits: $8,715
Pension: $39,268
All other compensation: $1,950
Total compensation 2019-20: $452,374
Total compensation 2018-19: $444,415

8. Andrew Petter, president, Simon Fraser University

Salary: $332,665
Holdback/bonus: $33,000
Benefits: $8,807
Pension: $32,847
All other compensation: $36,531
Total compensation 2019-20: $443,850
Total compensation 2018-19: $439,910

9. James Cassels, president and vice chancellor, University of Victoria

Salary: $387,848
Holdback/bonus: $0
Benefits: $7,580
Pension: $47,633
All other compensation: $146
Total compensation 2019-20: $443,207
Total compensation 2018-19: $432,979

10. David Wong, executive vice-president and CFO, finance, tech, supply chain, BC Hydro

Salary: $291,544
Holdback/bonus: $48,529
Benefits: $20,521
Pension: $73,761
All other compensation: $3,400
Total compensation 2019-20: $437,755
Total compensation 2018-19: $268,054

Note: Total compensation includes base salary, performance-based holdback or pay, statutory and health benefits and pension contributions, as well as other allowances and/or payments, such as vacation payout, sick leave payout, vehicle allowance, paid parking, lump sum severance, retirement allowance, professional fees and administrative leave.