The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is questioning how much BC Hydro and its subsidiary Powerex are paying staff once again, at a time when the Crown corporation is seeking electrical rate hikes of up to 26 per cent.
The top pay package went to Powerex managing director Thomas Bechard, who took home $1,019,687 in salary, incentives, pension, benefits, and other compensation. It is the third year in row Bechard has had a compensation package in the million-dollar range.
BC Hydro President Charles Reid was paid more than $530,000 dollars in salary and benefits and other compensation.
The four vice presidents under Reid get between $374,000 and $440,000, and two of those VP's received bonuses of nearly $90,000 dollars each.
Jordan Bateman, the B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, says that's a bit rich, considering the Crown corporation says it needs to raise rates 26 per cent by 2016 to cover rising costs.
- Read more about BC Hydro's proposed rate increases
- Read more about the government's promise to control executive salaries
"Ninety-thousand dollars is a healthy income for a family in British Columbia and its way above the average household income and those two are actually taking home that much money just in bonuses," said Bateman.
"There's things that are not sitting right about BC Hydro's numbers and these executives are going to have to provide some answers, especially as they're pushing for this big rate hike."
Moreover while Hydro has released its executive salaries for this year, it's the only government agency that has yet to issue its list of employee compensation, Bateman says.
Last year's list shows more than 2,600 B.C. Hydro and Powerex workers are paid well over $100,000 a year, according to figures compiled by The Province Newspaper.
"I think we're all looking forward to seeing the 2012/2013 whole sunshine list come out of BC Hydro. Most other government agencies have posted theirs and BC Hydro hasn't, and it's a little bit curious why," Bateman said.
"They've promised job cuts and savings being passed along to ratepayers, it will be interesting to see if their documents actually support that."