British Columbia

B.C. civil servants reap $2.4M severance

The B.C. government is paying more than $2.4 million in severance to a handful of ex-public servants let go when Premier Christy Clark took over the reins of government.
Premier Christy Clark's dismissal of several veteran civil servants is costing taxpayers nearly $2.5M, the CBC's Aarti Pole reports 2:30

The B.C. government is paying more than $2.4 million in severance to a handful of ex-public servants let go when Premier Christy Clark took over the reins of government from Gordon Campbell.

As many new heads of government do, Clark dismissed a number of veteran public servants and political staff who had served the previous administration.

Martyn Brown, the former chief of staff to former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell, gets a severance payment of $416,000. ((CBC))
The B.C. finance ministry released a breakdown of severance payments in response to a request from CBC News.

At the top of the list is Allan Seckel, who was deputy minister to the premier and head of the provincial public service. His payout will total $550,000.

Martyn Brown, who was Campbell's chief of staff, moved to a deputy minister's job in the past year, but he's also due severance of $416,000.

Other big payouts went to Leslie du Toit, deputy minister of children and family development, who gets $337,000, and Ron Norman, who headed the Public Affiars Bureau, who receives $324,000.

Other severance recipients include:

  • Lara Dauphinee (Campbell's Deputy Chief of Staff) - $193,000.
  • Geoff Hanman - $118,000
  • Paul Taylor (Premier's Chief of Staff after Brown) - $114,000.
  • Dale Steeves (Premier's Communications Director) - $108,000. 
  • Michael Harrison (ministerial assistant) - $76,000. 
  • June Phillips - $73,000. 
  • Christine Willows - $51,000.
  • Kathy Armstrong - $34,000. 
  • Richard Davis - $33,000.

The total for the severance packages is $2,427,000.

The president of the B.C. Federation of Labour, Jim Sinclair, called the payouts "outrageous," and not in accordance with Clark's promises to B.C. families.

"I suppose when she said 'families first' she meant Allan Seckel's family and Martyn Brown's family," said Sinclair.

But B.C. Finance Minister Kevin Falcon said it's all within the rules.

"It's always a lot of money, of course," said Falcon. "But it's now done to new, more stringent rules."

Under the NDP governments of the 1990s, senior bureaucrats could collect up to 24 months pay in severance. That has been reduced to 18 months.

With files from the CBC's Jeff Davies