03/30/2015 04:28 EDT | Updated 05/30/2015 05:59 EDT

John Baird To Join Canadian Pacific Railway Board Of Directors

CALGARY - John Baird continues to deepen his ties with corporate Canada.

The former Conservative cabinet minister is among 13 nominees to the expanded board of directors at Canadian Pacific Railway's (TSX:CP), a position that pays at least $235,000 a year.

The 45-year-old ex-politician, who officially retired March 16 after most recently serving as foreign affairs minister, was listed as a member of the international advisory board of Toronto-based mining giant Barrick (TSX:ABX) in its annual report issued last Friday.

Joining Baird on CP's board for the first time will be Keith Creel, the railway's president and chief operating officer, according to a regulatory filing ahead of the company's May 14 annual meeting. The two company nominees will expand the current board from 11 to 13 members.

Meanwhile, the regulatory filings showed that chief executive officer Hunter Harrison received more than $17.6 million in total compensation from the Calgary-based railway last year.

That compared with $7.2 million in 2013 and $49.1 million in 2012, when he came out of retirement from rival CN (TSX:CNR).

On top of its $2.4-million base salary, the 70-year-old industry veteran received $3.66 million in share-based awards, $3.66 million in options, a $7.3-million annual bonus, $14,000 in pension value and $582,000 in other benefits.

In 2013, he didn't receive any stock awards but collected a $4.4-million bonus on top of his $2.26 million salary. Harrison is paid in U.S. dollars which are converted to Canadian dollars for CP's report.

The railway said the increased compensation last year flowed from the higher value of the U.S. dollar and the company's improved financial performance. Its net profit rose 69 per cent to $1.48 billion as revenue climbed eight per cent to an all-time high of $6.62 billion.

Harrison extended his employment contract until June, 2017.

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