06/28/2012 09:27 EDT | Updated 08/28/2012 05:12 EDT

BC Ferries top salary surpassed $1M

BC Ferries paid out big bonuses to senior executives, with former CEO David Hahn once again topping $1 million in salary, bonuses and pension payments.

His successor, Mike Corrigan, made more than $900,000. But about one third of Corrigan's earnings came from a one-time payout from an incentive plan that's been eliminated.

The corporation recently announced that ridership is at a 21-year low and the company lost more than $16 million last year and would look at cutting some late-night sailings to save money.

BC Ferries chair Donald Hayes said executive compensation has been greatly reduced since 2008, but added that the company needs more than ever to attract and keep talented executives.

“It's at these times you really need the strong leadership and the strong skill set to make sure that the impact of the economic circumstances that surround us are minimized on the company,” Hayes said.

Figures released by BC Ferries Thursday showed Hahn was paid a total of $1,137,007.

A 2007 report by B.C.'s comptroller recommended salary and structural changes at BC Ferries, prompting the B.C. government to introduce legislation bringing salaries in line with top bureaucrats.

But the legislation could not take effect until executive contracts had expired.