Today, the Times Colonist's Paul Willcocks suggested "class" is one of the reasons why the independent commission to review MLA compensation recommended increasing the $76,100 base salary for legislators by 29 percent and awarding them a "generous pension plan." Wrote Mr. Willcocks, "There's nothing wrong with the panel, which included a senior lawyer who specializes in helping employers with labour issues, a former B.C. Supreme Court justice back in private practice and a University of British Columbia business professor. But I'd be surprised if any of the three had income under $150,000. The average would be over $200,000. For them, $76,100 - even the $121,100 paid the premier - is going to look mingy as they consider cuts they would have to make to live on that income. The premier would have been wiser to include some typical British Columbians on the panel." Indeed, the 1997 citizens' panel on MLA compensation, arguably, represented a broader cross-section of British Columbians.
The members of that panel - whose recommendations were considerably less generous to MLAs than those made by the commission - included Quesnel businessman Gordy Sangha , KPMG Consulting Inc. partner, Joan Harrison, Fort St. John city manager Colin Griffith, former BC of People with Diabilities president Margo Massie and BC Nurses' Union president Ivory Warner. The following is complete copy of biographies for the 1997 panel and the 2007 commission.
CITIZENS' PANEL BIOGRAPHIES
Mr. Gordy Sangha - Quesnel businessman, President of Canadian Tools and Equipment Company, and Reliance Investment Group Ltd., a real estate oriented company. Mr. Sangha is serving the Board of British Columbia Railway Company and Quesnel and District Credit Union. He is also a former City Councillor and Economic Development Commissioner.
Ms. Joan Harrison - resides in Vancouver. Ms. Harrison has more than fifteen years' experience in the human resources field, and has been a partner in KPMG Consulting since 1990. Her main responsibilities include career consulting, human resources planning and development, and executive search and compensation. She is also on the board of British Columbia Institute of Technology. Previous experience includes being a field consultant for an electronics company and four years as an elementary school teacher.
Mr. Colin Griffith - resides in Fort St. John, where he has been a city manager for twenty-five years. His main areas of work include promoting innovative management strategies to improve the efficiency of local government.
Ms. Margo Massie - has been a provincial disability rights advocate for the past ten years. Currently the Chair of the Vancouver Community College Board of Governors, Ms. Massie served as President of the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities from 1987 to 1994, and continues to serve as the Coalition's treasurer. She also served on the Premier's Advisory Council for Persons with Disabilities. Ms. Massie resides in Vancouver.
Ms. Ivory Warner - elected president of the BC Nurses' Union in 1994 and re-elected in 1996. Ms. Warner splits her time between Kamloops and Vancouver. She has been part of the nursing field since 1979, and complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1989.
COMPOSITION OF THE COMMISSION
Sue Paish, Q.C., Chair, is a partner with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. A former managing partner and member of the National Partnership Board, she brings over 20 years experience in working with employers on human rights, employment and labour matters. She is currently a member of the board of directors for ICBC and chair of the Human Resources Committee. She is also vice-chair of the Vancouver Board of Trade, a director on the board of the Women's Hospital Foundation, and was former vice-chair of the British Columbia Institute of Technology Foundation. Paish earned her Bachelor of Commerce and Business Administration in 1981 and her LL.B in 1982 from UBC, and was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1983. In 2005, she was named one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women.
Josiah Wood, Q.C., F.C.I.Arb, has been a partner since 1998 at the Vancouver office of Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, one of Canada's largest and oldest law firms with offices across Canada, in New York, Chicago, London and Beijing. In 1983, he was appointed to the British Columbia Supreme Court, the Province's senior trial court. In October of 1989, Wood was elevated to the position of Justice of the British Columbia and Yukon Territory Courts of Appeal, a position he occupied until returning to private practice on Feb. 1, 1996. He was chair of B.C.'s Electoral Boundaries Commission from 1997 to 1999.
Dr. Sandra Robinson has been a professor in the Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Division at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business since 1998. Prior to joining UBC, she was a professor at New York University. Designated a UBC Distinguished University Scholar, her research has focused on employment contracts, psychological contracts, and employee-employer relationships. She has also taught executive education courses in attracting and retaining human resources, negotiations, compensations and performance, developing and maintaining trust in organizations, and leading change. She earned her BA and MSc from UBC, and her PhD from Northwestern's Kellogg Graduate School of Management.