tp-nb-clendenning

NB Liquor is refusing to disclose a secret report commissioned to review executive compensation. The report's findings could have implications on any severance deal awarded to Dana Clendenning, the corporation's president.

NB Liquor should publicly disclose a secret study into executive compensation at the Crown corporation, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

The review looked at how Dana Clendenning, the corporation's president and chief executive officer, is paid and it could have costly implications into any severance deal handed out in the coming days.

Severance packages for Liberal-appointed deputy ministers, who are considered partisans, are expected to be approved at the final cabinet meeting of the outgoing Shawn Graham government on Tuesday.

Clendenning's settlement could be affected by any last-minute changes to his compensation package that are recommended in the secret report.

But NB Liquor is refusing to release the independent study it commissioned into executive compensation without a Right to Information Act request, which can take several months to answer.

Kevin Lacey, the Atlantic Canada director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said the Crown corporation should stop hiding the report behind the Right to Information Act.

"Whenever these issues of compensation come up, the public has a right to know immediately what their salaries are," Lacey said.

"And I think hiding behind things like [the] Right to Information [Act] — they can lawyer up all they want, but ultimately the public deserves to know what people are making so they can make the right decision about what's fair and what's not."

Clendenning's salary is more than $150,000 a year but he hasn't served the five years needed to quality for a civil service pension, at least under the existing rules.

There's no way of knowing how the secret report might affect his pension eligibility.

Clendenning was appointed to the Crown corporation's top position in 2006 by Premier Shawn Graham.

The NB Liquor job is considered one of the plum appointments for incoming governments and partisan selections are made by each premier.

Alward is expected to name a new NB Liquor president after he takes power on Oct. 12.

Clendenning replaced Barbara Winsor, who had previously served as Bernard Lord's chief of staff in the premier's office.