Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Outrageous pay raises to senior BC Liberal government bureaucrats redefines Gordon Campbell arrogance

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column

Tuesday August 12, 2008

It certainly pays to be a Liberal


My dear Prime Minister, I believe that you misunderstood the nature of my request; high as my ambition can aspire, I do not expect to become a deputy minister; I merely want to be a minister.

- Anonymous Liberal backbench MP to Mackenzie King

There is so much that is outrageously, disgustingly wrong with Premier Gordon Campbell's decision Friday to award his senior bureaucrats with massive pay raises that I will run out of words long before my anger does.

But start with this: Campbell's Deputy Minister Jessica McDonald gets a salary increase of $105,000 a year, a 43 per cent jump that brings her pay to $348,600.

It would take someone working at B.C.'s minimum wage of $8 an hour about 21 years to make what McDonald will take home next year.

And this mean-spirited government has refused to raise the minimum wage in seven long years - but just hiked the pay for its big shots two years ago.

Another way to consider McDonald's pay is that she has won the B.C. Gordo 6-49 lottery - taxpayers will give her $1 million every three years. And, amazingly, she has only held this job since 2005 - I guess her 500-hour training wage period is over.

But the Million Dollar Mandarin isn't the only lucky winner - deputy ministers get a whopping $78,000 pay hike or 35 per cent more, jumping from a current $221,760 to a maximum of $299,215.

And assistant deputies get a $35,000 boost, or 22 per cent extra, to see their pay go from $160,000 to $195,000.

Consider that 10 years ago, the NDP government's deputy to the premier was paid $136,535 - or $212,000 less - while senior deputy ministers made $116,620 - or $182,000 less!

Cost of living increases for deputy ministers must be quite a bit higher than for average British Columbians, whose average wage is about $48,000.

Had they been Campbell's top bureaucrat instead of ordinary workers, their pay would be $122,400 by now! Nice work if you can get it.

Meanwhile, if you are a person with disabilities in this province, you are expected to live on a shelter allowance of $375 a month and support benefits of $531.42 for a total of $906.42. People with persistent and multiple barriers to employment get even less - just $657.92.

But Jessica McDonald gets paid $955 per day to work for Gordon Campbell, 365 days a year. Not including a lucrative pension, of course.

In opposition, Campbell railed against the "politicization" of the senior public service by previous NDP governments.

I wonder if paying those bureaucrats up to $212,000 a year more makes them think that keeping Campbell in power is in their own best interests?

Arrogance has once again been redefined by the B.C. Liberals.


Anonymous said...

Your anger is justified, but your words so remarkable restraint. At a time when courts close because the Province does not pay enough to retain sheriffs and refuses to consider the "market". this is beyond.

Anonymous said...

Best Place on Earth: Deputy Ministers agree!

Anonymous said...

With the NDP, saddled with an extremely weak leader, who cares more for some bizarre women/minority only scheme, where basically white men need not apply, Gordo and his bunch of schemers, villains and other ne'er do wells will do anything they want, with absolutely fear of any NDP outcry.

While Gordo destroys this province Carole 'whats her name' fiddles!

“you have been sat to long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, i say, and let us have done with you. In the name of god, go!.”

Oliver Cromwell

Anonymous said...


The terms you failed to mention are "thick as thieves" and "den of thieves"!

Anonymous said...

David Schreck wrote two good articles on this: Campbell's Bureaucrats Get Massive Pay Hike

Consequences from Campbell's Obscene Pay Hikes

Anonymous said...

Reaside explains it all very well today. Go take a look. He did one about the gas tax a couple of days ago. A guy had to put his car up on blocks due to the gas tax so Gordo put an extra tax on cemenet blocks. He has King Gordos number for sure.Like Beirman was sued by Willy Two shoes about pulling wings off flies quite awhile ago, I figure Reaside will get targetted. But for now enjoy his stuff
I'm going to tell Gordo what a great guy he is, my pension is low, so I'll take a ADM position in any field I know nothing about. should work, maybe!

Anonymous said...


But surely the Liberals make a good point. In today's job market, there are only so many neocons to go around.

Without the job increase, they may actually have to hire people with credentials.


Anonymous said...

Where Were You When Evil Came to BC And What did You Do to Help Stop It?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the BC Liberals latest actions as our government and I’m really at a loss to understand when “our” government became evil. They aren’t just ideologically driven, greedy and corrupt, they have now shown us in so many ways their real face, the mask has shifted and the Evil that is within is showing loud and clear. Like many people I keep thinking, well, they must have sunk us to our nadir, we have no further to go. They can’t possibly become more depraved, more lacking in conscience, or any kind of common sense, or humanity. But then they do and more people hurt and are destroyed by a government that is soulless and truly evil.

There is more here:


soloacoustic said...

Most of what I could say in a rant about this is self-evident.

What we need to do is sound off to mla's directly, and to the premier directly.

gordon.campbell.mla@leg.bc.ca is one address.

This guy has to be held accountable for contempt of citizenship. He's governing like a man planning to lose the next election, and he doesn't care.

Anonymous said...

Here's a web page to look at the complaints that the 68 excluded public service employees had back in 2005, just before they got their first raise under the BC Liberals.

(NOTE: Jessica McDonald wrote: "I am committed to being the champion for this change (25% raise in 2005 and now a 42% raise in 2008")

Oh, and one other thing about Jessica McDonald... her husband.. Mike.. Rosedeer Strategies.... "was a political aide to then-mayor Campbell, and has been part of the inner circle since.

McDonald (Mike) directed Campbell’s campaign for the Liberal leadership and worked for the Liberals in different roles. He resigned as director of caucus communications when Jessica was hired in the premier’s office" - Paul Willcocks
.....McDonald quit and launched Tupelo Consulting....Tupelo was paid $25,000 by the province for contracts in its first year. By 2000, government billings were up to $67,000. In the first full year of the Liberal government, Tupelo received $215,000 worth of government contracts.........

AND THEN THERE IS THE $105,000 per year MONEY ANGLE for herself, spoken like a true champion.

“There’s an incredible rate of turnover,” she says. “What we’re going to face in the next 10 years is the loss of about 40 per cent of our junior managers, 60 per cent of our middle-level managers and 70 per cent of our senior managers,” she says. “That’s an incredible rate of turnover.” The government has to position itself as a great place to work to compete for the best candidates, she says. People have to be sold on the career value of spending some time inside government learning how things work, even if they don’t stick around. “There’s no other work or workplace like the public sector in terms of the kind of experience and the kind of contribution you can make,” and the MONEY.

Just how many more campaign workers are going to come out from under their rocks....let's see there's Patrick Kinsella and Mark Jiles who formed the Progressive Group without registering as Lobbyist... then there is .... Mike MaDonald who attended the 2005Budget Lockup: "Rosedeer Strategies, Mike McDonald, principal and Rosedeer Strategies, Susan Yurkovich, representative"....

Susan Yurkovich.... now where have we heard her name being mentioned....

Anonymous said...

Soloacoustic---I couldn`t agree more,my father tells me the same thing,Campbell wants to lose the election,I am willing to help him out the door but the scary part is why? What does Campbell know,or what bills and fraud and giveaways are coming down the pipe? I have been saying for years that smoke and mirrors and BC credit cards have been used to prop up the economy, I also believe that Campbell is pure evil or he has been blackmailed from the get-go,perhaps some freaky video from maui and losing the election is his only way out,why else has he committed political suicide?

Anonymous said...


You have it partly right. What about a huge protest rally on the lawn of the legislature? Not just over the obscene raises, but TILMA, the election gag law, the lack of movement on the minimum wage, tolls on anything and everything, and the other atrocities committed by Premier Maui Owie and his band of neo con marauders.

And to Anonymous who attacks Carole... one wonders who really is calling the shots with the BCNDP. Nothing short of Tactical Constipation. And your opening paragraph (aside from the comments about Carole being a weak leader) are bang on. Your Cromwell quote works well... except it should be directed at those hiding in the ivory tower, issuing edicts on what to believe in etc.

There will be NO fall session.. mark my words. Why would Campbell give the opposition more opportunities to fire away at him. And his latest pontifications about the homelessness and drug problems in Vancouver being eliminated by 2010 olympics are laughable and tragic. And also deceitful. If Campbell could deal with such intricate problems in that short a time span, one wonders why the Fiberals didn't do it long ago.

Or perhaps that goes to their motivations and intentions.

Anonymous said...

As I have said before, all the talk & text is ineffective !

The Campbell Regime, just like despotic one of Charles the First, requires the people to "go to the streets".

Image 50 to 100 thousands citizens protesting Gordon the First in front of the TV cameras during the lead-up to the Whistler ON THE TAKE Olympics.

Your bloggers quote Cromwell, but Oliver and his Roundheads were prepared to do more than talk.


Anonymous said...

When Carole James was elected leader of the NDP, I thought that a new era in BC politics had begun and that would give me the excuse to again (note again) vote for the NDP.

How soon was I disappointed, how soon did i find a 'wet-noodle' in charge of Her Majesty's official Opposition.

Her performance rated a D-, pathetic, incompetent - time to go.

But no, the NDP, ever willing to shoot itself in the foot, keeps on with this embarrassment and seems all to weak to to anything about it.

And this nonsense of only having women/minorities (white middle aged men need not apply) to run in certain ridings smacks of racism and Carole the very people you deny to run for the NDP, will not vote for the NDP. Stupid id as stupid does.

The result of all this in the next election is simple: The Liberals will win in a landslide and continue to fork over billions to their political cronies; the 'Green' party or independents may elect 2 or 3 seats and the NDP 'rump' will have 6 to 10 seats!

Well done and I am beginning to believe that Carole James in nothing but a Liberal infiltrator, poised to destroy the NDP!

It is so sad that this great province of BC is run by moral midgets, flim-flam men, confidence tricksters and other assorted self-centred "elites" (Liberal & NDP) who think nothing but themselves and their pet vetches and care little for the province and the future.

History will look on the Campbell/James era as the nadir of BC politics.

And for Carole James -"Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." Her silence speaks volumes.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for political protest. If you recall under the Bennet restraint program thousands of us did hit the streets, even filled the old stadium at the PNE. It included a very large numer of federal employees who were told, go out and you are fired. My union was due in the next couple of days. Federal workers don not have the right to political protest as does BC ones.

Jack Munroe from the IWA went up as directed to see Bennett in Kelowna. Not much changed. Bennett actually won the next election as a lot of people seemed to think we were all bullies. The average citizen does not support a General strike.

You get Campbell at the ballot box. General Strikes make some folks feel good but in a democratic society it's a no no.

Gather support starting now, make sure your friends actually bother to vote , join a opposition party with some possiblity of forming government. Explain to your neigbours why you are doing the organizing for issues you see as wrong. Might even financially support the opposition party with possibility of winning the province back to the people of this province. Gordo doesn't read his emails, some hack does for him as he flits around the world on your dollars. A ballot is a very powerful piece of paper, use it and get results. a very large number of citizens voted twice for Campbell to win. The first time it was a vote against the other major party. second time the numbers ot closer but the media adds which cost a lot of money talked to many. Let's learn for the deal we ended up in right jow and change it

Bill Tieleman said...

This news release just received from the BC NDP:

August 13, 2006


NDP leader says Campbell has lost touch with average British Columbians

VICTORIA – New Democrat leader Carole James today called on Premier Gordon Campbell to roll back the massive pay raises he awarded to top executives late last week. She said that, if elected, she would immediately roll back the increases and ensure that future compensation reviews are fair to B.C. taxpayers.

James made her comments on a stop to meet with the owners and workers at a downtown Victoria restaurant.

“It’s not fair to the people who work hard and pay their taxes at small businesses like this one for the Campbell government to spend their money on massive pay increases for Premier’s top advisors,” said James. “It shows, once again, the incredible arrogance of a Premier who has lost touch with the daily reality of most British Columbians.”

Last week, during the Beijing Olympic opening ceremonies, the government quietly distributed a release saying they hiked top executive pay by as much as $105,000 per year. Two years ago, Gordon Campbell raised those same salaries and promised not to do it again for at least four years.

“Every time Gordon Campbell gets the chance he hikes fees for everything from ferry fares to hydro rates. And he refuses to raise the minimum wage,” said James.

“It’s time for Gordon Campbell to get his priorities right. His consistent disdain for a reasonable increase in B.C.’s minimum wage just doesn’t square with the enormous pay hikes for his deputies. B.C.’s taxpayers deserve better from their government,” James said.

-- 30 --

Anonymous said...

I like and admire Carole James, a lot. She would be a great premier.

But what the hell is happening with the NDP media relations?!

A press release on Aug 13? FIVE days after the story broke?! wtf??

How about some good juicy quotes from Carole immediately?! She's good on her feet. What is up with this weak, late non-response?

On Fri Aug 9 I heard Sinclair speak and Farnsworth but nothing from Carole.

Please Carole, speak up! Show your good leadership, pragmatism and principles. The province needs you.

How can we survive another four years of Gordon Campbell's "government?".

Finally, the BC NDP website is pathetic. Please look at what Howard Dean and Obama are doing with website and e-politics. Read the August edition of Wired.

The BC NDP need to hire somebody with serious web savvy--NOW. The next provincial election is only 9 months away . . .

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the incompetence of the NDP 'machine', reflects directly to the incompetence of the leader.

James has single handedly turned the NDP into the 'Capser Milquetoast' party, instead of a fire breathing opposition feared by the government.

It is still not too late to dump her and install someone with the 'balls' (so to speak) to win the election.

If the NDP loose the next election, watch out for a new centre of the road party to emerge and win next time around. For if the NDP loose this one, the public will only remember it as an inept, self serving political party relevant to a very few, who remember the CCF.

Anonymous said...

Hi "Off the radar," what you write is pretty accurate. But let's not forget the leader of the offical opposition is Carole James. If the web site is poor, and it is, if information coming out from the party is poor, and it is, there is only one person to blame and it's James. She does the hiring. Sorry to bring out the obvious but the lady and her immediate group in our view, seems a few years behind in how things get to the public. One thing though, they do have a section on "what people are saying this week". She needs to clean house. I can think of a few folks in the business she should be talking to about how to spread the word, and in the same day or hours after something happens. Maybe its a shortage of cash to get the stuff out, maybe a donation with a 75 percent tax return from some of us complainers would help. A lot of folks have blogs and do pass information around but if few pick it up , well who's fault is that.

The other party has tons of money from supporters who see contracts and assorted deals by greasing the wheels. Gordo as premier makes some really stupid statement and it ends up looking like a vision from the mount as in biblical times. She can't offer such perks and the NDP really don't simply pass out contracts , never have done. But every little bit of information might jog someone. Even the opposition to the gas tax they finally got under way.
Oh and one thing Anon.7.03 pm. The writer of this blog is no friend of mine having never met Bill, but I personally find it insulting that you state he has pictures taken with politicians who simply arn't up to your standards. Any particular ones in mind. The blog ownere does media work as a way to make a living. So why dump on him if he is standing next to a politician. Are you using Mike Harcourt, or Bill Vanderzam, Joy7 McPhail, or just who is your target of opportunity.

I as a ordiary tax payer have seen good stuff from all the ones I mention. It is just a cheap shot at Tielman from an unknown person. I read his blog because he is always up to date. not because he happens to know a lot of assorted politicians. Le'ts not forget the votes elected all of them . My name and address are available. I don't do "anon"

Anonymous said...

Just when I thought there was nothing left to sell..........


The results of the latest auction of exploration rights, published Thursday morning on the respective government websites, show that British Columbia pulled in $502-million, its second-biggest single sale ever, behind the $610-million received last month.


The latest sale pushes B.C.'s take so far this year to $2.08-billion, more than double last year's record – and there are still four sales to go.


All of this, and we still get hit with a carbon tax, while Gordon and his minnions get a windfall raise. The stench just keeps getting stronger!


Whistleblowers BC said...

The NDP and the labour community have some of the finest media and communications artists and brightest minds and strategists around. And campaign organizers. There is something stopping them from lighting a fire under the party and I think we should all ask ourselves what? This is their election to lose.

The truth cannot be evaded though, the next administration is going to have a nightmare of epic proportions to deal with. The cookie jar is almost empty, the full truth of where all the money has gone has yet to be told. The public service is being decimated by so many people quitting, being forced out and not represented by their union/the NDP, who could perhaps be the next boss.

It is quite absurd to so totally lay the responsibility of the failure of the NDP to be making a big splash on Carole James. All parties, or even most organizations, take their primary leadership from executives who are supposedly "elected" to the board. Although portrayed as democratic, this is often a corrupted process, with nomination meetings being stacked. Or there might be a little covert intimidation by those in office, or their little hench people, to stifle less well known, or less popular candidates for the executive to throw their hat in the ring.

Whether it's the Liberals, the NDP, the Greens, the labour council, or the board of directors, politics are politics and sometimes the people who look like the leader aren't really calling the shots.

I am issuing a personal challenge to all media artists, writers and journalists out there to break out and start using their mad skillz, gifts and talents to help expose the mofos and help win BC back for all of us. We can do this, it is within all of our reach and it is OUR province and we want it back.

Anonymous said...

This Outrageous raise thing, could it just be that the Super Deputy Ministers are actually the ones running the BC Liberal Government and not Gordon Campbell.

Think about it. Everytime the Premier leaves town something serious happens in Victoria.

Could Gordo be that stupid to give a raise and then leave town?

Anonymous said...

Who is the numb nuts in the BC Government who inserted this line after having enlightened the masses as to how much Jessica McDonald's salary has been increased to:

The >maximum achievable salary for assistant deputy ministers increased from $160,000 to $195,000. NOTE: this took place before the BC Liberals were elected.
In 2000, there was only one category for Deputy Minister ($144,000).
In 2001, there was Deputy Minister Maximum ($203,500.19) and Minimum ($134,300.15)
In 2006, there was only Deputy Minister (no Maximum/Minimum) ($221,760.09); Cabinet Secretary and Deputy to the Premier (Ken Dobell on both counts)($243,936)
In 2008, "the maximum payable salary to Deputy Ministers ....($299,215) and $348,600 for the Deputy Minister to the Premier.

Anonymous said...

The "magic" number since 2000, for calculating the Deputy Minister salary is:

Per year hours: 1826.25

Bill T. says that "Jessica McDonald gets paid $955 per day to work for Gordon Campbell, 365 days a year." well not quite. She neither works 365 days nor does she work 8 consistent hours like the rest of us.

Her hourly rate is $190.88 for each of her FIVE Hours!!!! per day = $954.40

Anonymous said...

it would sure be nice to see the same type support going to the ordinary folks of this province,cabinet ministers vehemently defending the poor the seniors the children, schools hospitals ,imagine that cabinet ministers looking out for the tax payer and not the party contributors. as for weather or not the raises are deserved, this government has sold off, contracted out, absolved themselves of virtualy everything that was once under public scrutiny what is their job again?? other than gouging and fleecing the public
my 2.7% raise i recieved this year was imediately swallowed up by new parking fee's at my work site the new fees came to 2 1/2 x the size of my 2.7% increase

Martin Campbell said...

The lack of any substantive protest by either the BCGEU or the NDP is disgusting.

The workers have no representation, and the non-liberals in this province have no viable alternative.


The NDP putting out a feeble statement this long after such a huge story breaks speaks to the weakness and lethargy in their party. I'm going to start investigating the green party.

(nice to find a political blog that has a vibrant comments section!)

Anonymous said...

The Effective raise date for June 5, 2001 came about as Bill Tieleman wrote on one of his posts:

"Ken Dobell was in fact Cabinet Secretary, appointed when the government took office:

Statutory Authority: Public Service
Appointments made, effective June 5, 2001:

Ken Dobell
DM to the Premier and Cabinet Secretary, Office of the Premier"

Anonymous said...

Well the media has not been beligerant enough specially after the Canada line project got the pass. And that was after many votes that were held that rejected this project because others like the evergreen line or an LRT via Broadway were badly needed. I think the public feels powerless to confront this sort of pillaging of our monies. With today's technology the citizens of BC could cast a vote online on every major public expenditure or ill/well conceived project or changes to our well being by special interests controlled government agents.

Anonymous said...

Why don't BC residents and tax payers say NO MORE to these pay raises, put a cap on BC Governemnt's salaries and use the monies to better health care, schools and other areas that are sadly lacking in financial assistance. I am tired of the Government's excuses. What is wrong with the tax payers in BC, everyone complains but no one actually does anything except complain!!! This country is becoming more politically familiar on a daily basis - the top players are reaping in all the money and the underlings are struggling. Does this kind of Government sound familiar to anyone in China, Korea or other world areas? Or am I just the only one who sees the problems in BC. People where are your democratic rights gone to? Food for thought.