B.C.’s social development minister has ordered the troubled Community Living British Columbia operation to scrap a program of incentive plan performance bonuses that paid out about $1.8-million since it began in 2005, including $285,000 last year.
Stephanie Cadieux said Friday that the chair of the board for the organization, which provides group homes and other services to the developmentally disabled, has committed to get rid of the policy soon because it is not appropriate for what her ministry describes as a people-first organization.
Chair Denise Turner “agreed with me that in the circumstance of an organization like CLBC, these policies are not ideal in any way,” Ms. Cadieux said.
“She is prepared to act on that as quickly as possible.”
Although such bonuses are common across government, Ms. Cadieux said she was “uncomfortable” with the system at CLBC.
The bonuses were instituted in 2005, and have cost an average $300,000 per year, said a ministry spokesperson. Last year, about $285,000 was paid out to 61 employees.
Ms. Cadieux also said she had met with Doug Woollard, the interim CEO for the operation, to talk about its current problems.
The B.C government has been facing tough criticism – some from Liberal backbenchers – about services to the developmentally disabled, and the closure of group homes. Last week, the operation announced the departure of its CEO as part of a search for a new direction.
“We’ve had a good conversation about how we are going to address those issues and make sure they get resolved quickly,” Ms. Cadieux said.
Nicholas Simons, the NDP community living critic, praised the minister for her “good decision” on the bonuses, but called for an external review – something Ms. Cadieux is declining to order. On Friday, she announced an interim update from the board, due Nov. 1, putting forward their vision for the organization.
She also said a toll-free hotline is being set up for families to call if they feel their needs are not being met.