Public sec­tor bonuses should be out­lawed

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - EDITORIAL - Ge­off Chaulk St. John’s

I read with ab­so­lute dis­may the article by James McLeod ti­tled “$766K in bonuses: Nal­cor paid out plenty to top ex­ecs this year.” The article made me fig­u­ra­tively ill.

So, Nal­cor ex­ec­u­tives, in­clud­ing the ex­ec­u­tive in charge of the boon­dog­gle known as Muskrat Falls, which is now grossly, grossly over-bud­get, and the ex­ec­u­tive in charge of the power sup­ply — past black­outs and power sup­ply warn­ings ex­cluded, I as­sume — each get more than $50,000 for their per­for­mance.

And the CEO, who I as­sume was in charge of the re­cent hedge-fund in­vest­ment made by Nal­cor, for a loss of $67 mil­lion, gets more than $150,000.

These bonuses are fig­ures that many peo­ple just dream about; let alone work a full year to earn.

Fur­ther, given the gross cost over­runs to date, at double the orig­i­nal es­ti­mated cost, I be­lieve, and how this debt will weigh on all tax­pay­ers in our prov­ince for decades to come, the grant­ing of these bonuses by the board, and the ac­cept­ing of same by the ex­ec­u­tives, is noth­ing less than amoral, in my opin­ion.

The right thing to do would have been for the board to say those bonuses, if even war­ranted, would go to­ward the Muskrat Falls debt re­duc­tion.

And al­though some might say I’m com­par­ing ap­ples to or­anges, I worked for the On­tario public sec­tor for more than half my 30-year ca­reer, where work got added to my plate and only merit in­creases ap­plied on my an­niver­sary start date. Se­nior public sec­tor ex­ecs, like those in the private sec­tor, get their per­for­mance bonuses as a re­sult of the drones do­ing their jobs well and show­ing re­sults, not be­cause of their per­sonal wiz­ardry alone.

Fi­nally, but not least of all, bonuses for cor­po­ra­tions like Nal­cor, and our provincial gov­ern­ment, or Crown agen­cies, in these provincial frigid fis­cal times, should be against the law.

Yours in ex­as­per­a­tion.

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