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The Globe and Mail

B.C. cracks down on compensation for public-sector executives

The Hon. Kevin Falcon, B.C.'s Minister of Finance, gestures during a press conference where reporters asked for his reaction to the federal budget.

Diana Nethercott/The Globe and Mail

Despite an overall decline in compensation for public-sector executives, the B.C government has announced a compensation crackdown that includes a wage freeze.

Other measures outlined Wednesday by Finance Minister Kevin Falcon include replacing bonuses with non-pensionable holdbacks of up to 20 per cent tied to financial and business results.

Also, new executives will be recruited at a salary of 10 per cent less than the incumbent.

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Mr. Falcon told a news conference that the measures, announced along with the release of the 2011-2012 Public Accounts, is aimed at spreading austerity as the government struggles to balance the budget by next year.

The move comes although the government disclosed total public-sector executive compensation was 5.4 per cent less in 2011-2012 than 2010-2011 and payment of bonuses dropped 13 per cent.

Mr. Falcon announced all Crown corporations have until Jan. 1, 2013 to submit plans on how they will meet the new standards.

The new policy does not apply to four crowns, most notably TransLink and B.C Ferries because most of their members are not appointed by the province.

Also Wednesday, Mr. Falcon said the province ended the 2011-12 fiscal year with an $1.8-billion deficit and is on track to return to a balanced budget in 2013-14.

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