Just in case you missed the ‘Friday Night Bad Government News’ release…

CranstonWell my friends, you know by now how it works, right?

Governments of every level, will release ‘bad’ news stories they don’t want the public to pay attention to on a Friday night, or in the middle of a massive news distraction( like floods in Alberta and BC), or even better, on the cusp of a long weekend.  The rationale is that regular people will go about their business on the weekend and forget by Monday morning…

Likewise, if the government has good news they want to share, they tend to release it early in the week so they can milk it news-wise, for the rest of the week.

So would it be any surprise to find this story making the rounds after 7 pm on a Friday night? http://globalnews.ca/news/663265/health-services-authority-ceo-removed-for-giving-pay-hikes-behind-closed-doors/

Health Services Authority CEO removed for giving pay hikes behind closed doors

The Provincial Health Services Authority president and CEO has been removed after it was discovered salary increases were given to senior management in the organization without the knowledge or approval of its board of directors.

Lynda Cranston, who had been President and CEO since 2002, “will be relinquishing her duties as PHSA President and CEO effective immediately,” according to a press release by the PHSA. She will formally retire at the end of July and receive no formal severance.

In their release, the board indicated they would attempt to reverse the pay increases handed out.

“Given that some of the increases violated government guidelines, the Board is reviewing its legal options for addressing the raises which were not in compliance. The Board will also meet in the days ahead to review measures that can implemented to ensure this situation does not occur in the future.”

The PHSA is responsible for working with the five regional health authorities to deliver high-quality specialized services, along with operating specific services including trauma and chest surgery. In 2011-2013, Cranston received a salary of $351,008 in salary – one of five people in the organization to make more than $250,000.

Health Minister Terry Lake voiced his support for the decision, saying he was “disappointed to learn that the wage policy of government was not followed.”

“The provincial government entrusts health authorities with the delivery of quality health care to British Columbians and expects budgetary direction to be followed,” he said in a release.

“It is important for all British Columbians to have confidence that the finite health dollars we have available during these difficult economic times are directed where they belong – into front-line care.”

The PHSA has not disclosed the number of pay increases approved by Cranston, nor their size

Hmm. Isn’t that just something.

Seniors, the people who built this province, are getting tossed around the block over wheelchair rentals, fees and purchases after contributing a lifetime of work to support their families, and their communities.

There is a backlog and waiting list for assessment’s, treatments, surgeries and therapies of all kinds across the province… and here we have Ms. Cranston handing out the pay raises, unapproved and secretively.

Considering the PHSA has not released the number of pay increases Cranston gave out, or the size of them, ( and may not without FOI requests, we can surmise)I would think there might be a bigger story here to come.

Considering her name has already been removed from the executive list of PHSA, I think this is not news at all to the BC Liberals – the question is, when did the provincial government find out about this and how long has this been going on?

And is this yet another indicator of  ‘you get what you voted for’?


29 thoughts on “Just in case you missed the ‘Friday Night Bad Government News’ release…

  1. HandyDART is also being targeted for cutbacks. TransLink had cut service hours and given HandyDART work to Taxis so they can save money. Frail seniors and people with disabilities are once again being shortchanged by cutting back on their ability to get out of their homes. While the fat cat executives in the province keep getting big raises, the people with the most need keep getting services rolled back.

    Yes, I voted. But it wasn’t for the Liberals.


  2. I want to take in the fact that in the 2011-2013 budget of the Provincial Health Services Authority, $351,008 was given to one person. Is the president and CEO position worth that kind of money?


    1. Executive compensation in the private sector seems to be what they make comparisons to, however this isn’t the private sector. It’s appalling.


  3. We have over a 100K public servants in BC costing taxpayers over $10B/ yr. We cannot afford this- we need to address by cutting benefits & raising retirement age for public sector union workers. The ones at top are tip of the iceberg-its the 10’s of 1000’s of overpaid underworked jobs-4-life positions we cannot afford.They retire at 60 with guaranteed pensions while taxpayers work until 70 to pay for civil servants’ lives of ease- not right OR sustainable.


  4. Laila;
    I am having great difficulty in believing that these increases were given without someone in government, a minister, either of health or finance not being aware of them. I am also amazed that even though it is the usual ominous Friday release of information, that the best the NDP can come up with on short notice is that their critic has a “few issues” with this. I dunno, seems to me they want to analyze this to death before taking any real, definitive response of any kind. Damn, I miss the days when politicos would speak off the cuff and rant and rave even on Friday evening about what they really think and not what is the approved response message of the day. Maybe the NDP needs to watch those idiots on Faux News to see how it is done with apparent effect.
    If the numbers are correct, that equates to 2 x triple heart by pass surgeries, so for those on the waiting list, guess what you got by-passed, literally…….( I give Adrian’s people the right to use this phrase, intemperate as it is and should be).
    Maybe it’s time we started putting some real numbers behind this bs as to what services could and should be supplied for these kinds of dollars.
    I am betting there is a lot more to this tale of incompetence than we have seen even this late in the day.
    By the way to CKNW THIS IS MORE THAN A “bit of a pay scandal to deal with”. They sooooo need some ballsy copywriters for their stuff.
    Sorry Laila, I don’t mean to rant, but as a born and raised British Columbian, I just get so sick and tired of this crap and the bunch of spineless politicians and media darlings we seem to have raised in this province. No one wants to stick their neck out and say anything provocative. It’s like we’ve elected a bunch of bureaucrats, on both sides. Thank heavens at least Vicki Huntingdon is speaking out about the Wheelchair issue, I may not agree with her federal politics but at least on the provincial level, she seems to be able to make a good point or two.
    Anyway, gledelig midtsommer, gonna spend some time at the Scandinavian Centre for the Festival this weekend.


    1. Stan, feel free to share your feelings and please don’t apologize. From the emails I have been receiving for the last month you are not alone by far.

      The good thing is that the press have all picked up on this story, I see it in the Sun today and the Province as well, both are great reports. http://www.theprovince.com/health/Leader+health+authority+resigns+after+breaking+guidelines+approve/8563121/story.html

      One story states these hikes came into effect three days after the election, so I too, have a hard time believing that the ministry didn’t know about this.

      Gledelig midtsommer ! I do see the sun trying to peek out this morning…


  5. There is not one person in the BC Liberal party that is worth the powder to blow them to hell. It seems the bureaucrats are even worse than the MLAs, which has been proven many times, starting with the Basi & Virk pay-off and continuing to this PHSA fiasco.

    And to think we have at least four more years of this incompetence and corruption to put up with! Yes, I voted, and it wasn’t for the ‘Beastly’ Liberals.


    1. WOW does human life have so little value to you that people with different opinions on politics need to be blown up??? you NDP fans sure get right nasty when it comes to dealing with the other human beings in other political parties…SHEESH


      1. Do you always ‘assume’ that people who don’t like the BC Liberal party are ‘NDP fans’?
        BTW, I didn’t say they needed to be blown up; I said they aren’t worth blowing up. They merely deserve the same fate that they have bestowed upon B.C. taxpayers.


      2. Have you already forgotten the election campaign? You want to know about nasty ‘fans’, I can tell you any number of stories about rude, arrogant, obnoxious, harassing Liberal ‘fans’ I met while canvassing for the NDP


  6. By the way we voted for Jagrup Brar and ended up with the :frickin’ mayor of Langley City………….in SURREY FLEETWOOD…….don’t figure…..


    1. Yes, that was a shocker. Jagrup served that riding very well and everyone there is still in shock I think. But I dont think the issue was with Jagrup, it was with Dix. People just don’t like Dix, and unfortunately Jagrup was caught in the crossfire.


    1. Absolutely Bernadette. Considering Christy gave all those big raises she just took back, I wonder if she didn’t send a memo out telling everyone: “We won! – big raises all around!”


  7. Stan Mortenson & Laila:
    I absolutely agree that the premier, or cabinet minister(s), or treasury board or bureaucrat(s) knew about this and Ms Cranston is taking the hit.
    Considering the pay hikes Christy just rescinded, and the timing of the issuing of these PHSA hikes, I don’t doubt for an instant that Clark issued a directive that everyone who is anyone gets a sip at the trough.
    Got a feeling there is more of this to come elsewhere in our wonderful government circles.


  8. Here’s my theory: Cranston knew she was leaving and decided to give her “friends” a raise, just like c.c. did for her “friends”. some news reports said she “resigned” after informing the board she had give the raises. It is not unreasonable to conclude there is much more going on there then meets the eye. Did she give the raises prior to the election, thinking they’d all be gone after the election? Possible also.

    It isn’t like someone in Cranston’s position to just shoot herself in the foot. She may not be worth what she is being paid, but she just isn’t that stupid. My thought, perhaps the lieberals are getting ready to “contract out” the health authorities, you know like B.C. Rail, and Cranston was just making sure her “friends” got something on the way out the door.


  9. Yes, I voted, but definitely not for this bunch of stinkers. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that they’ll
    restore these outrageous raises at some point, most likely when we, the great unwashed are being distracted by an even bigger scandal. I find it kind of interesting that public-sector managers and CEOs love comparing themselves to higher-paid private-sector equivalents when it comes to compensation, but apply exactly the opposite standards to their own employees. Greed, corruption and hypocrisy rule this province, but apparently that’s just fine by us voters. After all. it ain’t like we weren’t warned.


    1. I’m here – bogged down by end of school commitments,FOI’s on cities and the feds and other projects, but see facebook, nothing has managed to get by me yet Barry!


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