Last week, the Campbell administration said it was increasing the maximum payable salaries for its top bureaucrats to "maintain B.C.'s competitiveness in recruiting and retaining the talent necessary to lead the public service." After all, according to the government, British Columbia's deputy minister wages weren't "keeping pace" with civic service paycheques across the country. And keeping pace is important because within the next 10 years "51 per cent of deputy ministers will retire" - necessitating a 34.93 percent increase to their maximum salaries. But we fail to see how any of this justifies giving their boss Jessica McDonland a 42.91 percent increase.
After all, when Ms. McDonald was first appointed as the premier's deputy minister in June 2005, The Province Michael Smyth reported she was "believed to be in her late 30s." So there's little chance she'll be retiring on or before 2018. Moreover, prior to being hired in November 2003 as the special projects deputy minister in the premier's office, Ms. McDonald had been a land programs manager at the ministry of environment, lands and parks and a public land management consultant. Arguably, neither of those jobs would have qualified her to become the head of a provincial civil service. So, if the Liberals are having trouble retaining her, it's at least partially because of the opportunities Gordon Campbell has afforded to Ms. McDonald.