TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond (centre) spoke during conference in New Westminster last year. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond (centre) spoke during conference in New Westminster last year. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)

Upset arises over TransLink using B.C. restart funds to reinstate pay cut of CEO, executives

‘Why was program money to support struggling Canadians funnelled to gold-plated executive pay?’

A taxpayers federation director of B.C., Kris Sims, is questioning why funds meant to “support struggling Canadians” were funnelled into restoring the “gold-plated” salaries of TransLink’s high-level executives.

Last year, its CEO and executives received their full salaries despite announcing in the early days of the pandemic that they’d all be taking a 10 per cent pay decrease.

In April, TransLink laid off nearly 1,500 workers and cut service as ridership dipped by 83 per cent. As a result, TransLink executives announced they would have to take pay cuts.

RELATED: TransLink to lay off nearly 1,500 workers, cut service as ridership down 83% during pandemic

The Metro Vancouver transportation authority received provincial funding as part of a Provincial Safe Restart agreement in September – $1 billion was shared between TransLink, BC Transit and BC Ferries.

“This package will help cover the substantial net revenue losses we are currently incurring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and allow us to keep fares affordable for our customers during this time,” Desmond said at the time.

The immediate announcement did not include any indication that executives would be recouping their pay cuts. The funding allowed TransLink to rescind all cuts to service, layoff notices and cuts to non-union pay, according to the documents the federation obtained.

READ MORE: TransLink asks for emergency funds, cites losses of $75 million per month amid pandemic

Black Press Media reached out to TransLink who confirmed that in May it sent subscribed media a news release that indicated the company used a portion of Provincial Safe Restart funds to reinstate executives’ full salaries.

According to documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation through the Freedom of Information Act, TransLink’s outgoing figurehead, CEO Kevin Desmond, received a $448,000 salary in 2020.

“Why is the head of a regional bus board for Metro Vancouver paid more than the prime minister of Canada?” Sims questioned.

Desmond was first hired in 2016. He plans to leave his role as CEO in February and move to the United States.



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

BC HealthCoronavirusTransLink

Just Posted

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Neighbours have reached out to media on several occasions with complaints about the property

Darcy Rhodes (left) says his grandfather’s bonsai trees are his ‘babies.’ (Courtesy of Tamara Bond)
Construction takes place on Bamfield Main in early February 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY CTV NEWS)
Ongoing Bamfield roadwork unrelated to planned $30M fix

Construction by Mosaic unrelated to $30M upgrade ordered in wake of fatal bus crash

Protestors against old growth logging gather in front of the courthouse in Victoria on Thursday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fairy Creek protesters gather at Victoria courthouse

Logging company seeks injunction to remove blockades near its Port Renfrew operation

One person is dead after a camper van caught fire Thursday morning in Victoria's Beacon Hill Park. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: One person dead after vehicle fire in Beacon Hill Park

Investigation into Victoria death in early stages

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Crews disassemble the iconic red and white KFC bucket from a sign on Goldstream Avenue. (Photo courtesy of Mark Schoor)
Iconic KFC bucket removed from Goldstream Avenue

Popular fast-food chain closes Langford location

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Clockwise from top left: Malahat First Nation Chief George Harry and councillors Steve Henry and Cindy Harry address community members in a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Screenshot)
Malahat Nation confirms first two cases of COVID-19

Community has been under stay-at-home order since Jan. 7

Most Read