Five officials in Bernard Lord's Conservative government each received more than their annual salaries in paycheques andseverance packages in the year they were bought out by the new Liberal government in New Brunswick.

Theprovince's latestpublic accounts report, released Tuesday, revealed what each of them received in the last fiscal year.

The five Tory partisans had been serving in senior bureaucratic and Crown corporation jobs. Each of them worked about half of the fiscal year, then accepted buyouts afterShawn Graham's Liberals won the October 2006 election.

All thebuyouts were subject to confidentiality clauses and the exact breakdowns, which could include wages, severance and unpaid vacation and benefits,weren't available. The government has declined comment.

However, according to the public accounts documents:

  • Marie-France Pelletier, an assistant to Lord who became the deputy minister of the Executive Council Office, received $201,896 —$101,237 more than what she would have received in annual pay.
  • Yassan Choukri, who was deputy justice minister, received $141,943 in the year.His annual salary was $117,806.
  • Bill Thompson, who was deputy energy minister,collected $146,500. His annual salary was$132,815.
  • Rodney Weston, the chief of staff in the premier's office, received $178,883 in total that year, $46,068 more thanhis annual pay.
  • Barbara Winsor, president of NB Liquor Corp., collected $154,008, up from her annual pay of$129,064.

Corrections

  • The total amounts cited for each of the five individuals were not just their severance packages, as was originally suggested. In fact, they also included the wages the individuals earned in that fiscal year before accepting the buyout, and may also have included unpaid vacation and other benefits.
    Dec 19, 2007 4:35 PM AT