Ferries committee volunteer quits due to ‘fat cats’

A longtime member of the Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) for Denman and Hornby islands has resigned from his voluntary position.

A longtime member of the Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) for Denman and Hornby islands has resigned from his voluntary position because he is tired of seeing high-paid executives receive bonuses while BC Ferries loses revenue and ridership.

Statements released last week reveal senior ferry executives earn million-dollar salaries and bonuses.

“It just occurred to me that BC Ferries is going from the fast cats scandal to the fat cats scandal,” Dennis Forsyth said Thursday. “I think it should be a scandal. Somehow the notion that a man (Rob Clarke) who is being paid $296,000 a year to do a job as a chief financial officer needs another $400,000 incentive in order to do that job I find just appalling.”

Forsyth represented the Denman Residents’ Association on the FAC. Acting as a go-between, it was his job to explain BC Ferries policies to his community.

“I think that exceeds my capabilities here,” he said of the salaries and bonuses. “Over the last few years they (BC Ferries) are more and more reluctant to act on any advice that we give them.”

He credits the corporation for reacting to minor issues such as terminal parking on Denman, but not to major issues.

Forsyth understands BC Ferries has financial problems, but does not understand the corporation “preaching” to people about fiscal responsibility and economy, then taking a bonus on top of a salary that would exceed the wildest dreams of most Canadians.

“There’s just something morally wrong with that,” he said. “Eventually somebody has to stand up and say that.”

Forsyth notes FAC research shows incentives that triggered bonuses read exactly like a job description. He questions why a CFO receives a bonus for bringing in a project on budget.

“His (Clarke) total compensation for last year was somewhere north of $750,000, when they added in the bonuses and benefits,” said Forsyth, noting Clarke spoke at FAC meetings about the importance of saving money in the face of rising fares and service cuts.

While not necessarily against the proposed cable ferry between Buckley Bay and Denman, Forsyth worries Denman will lose 12 to 15 “of the best-paying jobs on this island” to an alternate service provider.

“For an island with a population of 1,000 people, that’s a lot,” he said. “Maybe it’s a good idea. It will achieve savings and it will be more economical.

“What gets me is that the only people who are going to have to accept any pain and suffering are us. The four guys at the top, the leaders, are not accepting the slightest inconvenience or the slightest bit of pain through this. That is so hypocritical that it just defies belief almost.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

G.P. Vanier in Courtenay has six members of the community who have tested positive; Island Health identified seven staff and 78 students who will be required to self-isolate. Black Press file photo
SD71 identifies eight positive cases of COVID-19 and instructs 108 people to self-isolate

The letter noted that all who have tested positive did not contract COVID-19 within the school sites

Geoff Garbutt takes over as City of Courtenay CAO on April 14. Photo supplied
Courtenay council selects new city CAO

A new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) will be joining the City of… Continue reading

Two vehicles collided Wednesday morning north of Courtenay on the Old Island Highway. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Two-car MVA north of Courtenay

Accident took place after 7 a.m. on the Old Island Highway

COVID cases in the Bella Coola Valley have dropped to just four active cases (file photo)
Comox Valley COVID spike the result of ‘a series of multiple social gatherings’

North Island Medical Health Officer Dr. Charmaine Enns says the recent spike… Continue reading

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The Town of Comox will formally examine speeding within the town. Black Press file photo
Comox to examine speeding within town

Following discussions at various council meetings, Comox council will formally examine speeding… Continue reading

A male customer without a face mask is seen inside a Burnaby Canadian Tire amidst an altercation with store security and staff members. (Video/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Man arrested after allegedly punching Burnaby Canadian Tire staff over mask rule

Mounties received reports Monday of a customer having punched more than one employee

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

A conceptual drawing of the preferred conveyance route for the Comox Valley Sewer Service.
Preferred conveyance route chosen for Comox Valley Sewer Service

The Comox Valley Sewage Commission approved a plan Tuesday to upgrade the… Continue reading

Most Read