NEWS
10/21/2011 04:21 EDT | Updated 12/21/2011 05:12 EST

Minister orders stop to bonuses at B.C. Crown agency that helps the disabled

VICTORIA - Social Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux has ordered an end to bonuses for managers at the Crown agency Community Living B.C., which provide services to the disabled.

Cadieux says she met today with the agency chairwoman Denise Turner and told her to dump the bonuses as soon as possible.

Cadieux says bonuses are not appropriate for an organization that's supposed to help people with developmental disabilities, and they're also wrong in a time of tight budgets.

She says the board was already looking to end its variable compensation model that paid about $300,000 in bonuses to managers, and it will have to come up with a new model.

"That is up to the board to decide how they compensate staff at CLBC. But what they will do is they will go away and look at a new system of compensation that doesn't include a bonus-type structure," she said.

The government and Community Living B.C. have been under fire from the NDP for months for closing groups homes and cutting funds for vulnerable people who need services.

NDP critic Nicolas Symons is suspicious about the Liberals' promise to reign in bonuses, saying they may try to hide them instead.

"They're probably going to do what they did for the former CEO and just roll his bonuses into his salary, and if that's the change she's suggesting I'm not sure people are going to be satisfied," he said.

"What people want is programs to be restored for people who need them," Symons said.

He said the bonus program is another reason for a full independent inquiry into the operations of CLBC, which the government has refused to do, saying an internal review of the agency is already under way.