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BC Conservatives call for Cadieux's job

Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Social Development, faces criticism from B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins for handling of the controversy surrounding compensation for  Community Living B.C. executives. - File photo
Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Social Development, faces criticism from B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins for handling of the controversy surrounding compensation for Community Living B.C. executives.
— image credit: File photo

BC Conservative leader John Cummins is calling for the resignation of Social Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux – or, failing that, withdrawal of apparent pay raises to Community Living B.C. executives.

After it was revealed last fall that the executives were receiving bonuses tied to meeting performance goals – a case of bad optics at a time when CLBC clients with special needs or developmental disabilities were having services cut back – Cadieux promised an end to the bonus system.

Outrage was voiced again last week when it was learned the executives are no longer receiving the bonuses – they’ve been getting pay hikes of up to 8.6 per cent instead.

Among the flak was a rocket from Darryl Walker, president of the BC Government and Service Employees Union, whose community service workers have not had a raise in three years, and whose members were taking a strike vote last week.

Cadieux, BC Liberal MLA for Surrey-Panorama, and Premier Christy Clark, who defended the pay increases, have both gone on record that the term ‘bonus’ was a misnomer in context of the executives’ compensation. The so-called bonuses were, they now say, part of the executives’ base salary that was being held back until goals were met.

Cadieux has also said she was not aware of how the executives’ compensation was structured when she promised to abolish bonuses last fall.

That doesn’t wash with Cummins, who said Monday that the issue was a case of “failed sleight-of-hand,” that could, logically, lead to the firing of a cabinet minister by a premier.

“It was misleading – I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” he told the Peace Arch News.

“The information from the minister was just that. I think that there should be some appropriate penalty… it does entail some form of censure.”

Cummins said he does not accept the ‘holdback’ explanation, describing such an approach to compensation as “exceptionally strange and rare” in an environment that is not supposed to be driven by profit.

“You’re either paid or you’re not paid. I can’t for the life of me think of a circumstance in which a holdback of salary… would help in delivery of service to very, very needy people.

“My question is, why were these (executives) getting bonuses?”

 

Cadieux could not be reached for comment by PAN deadline.

 

 

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