British Columbia's top Olympic bureaucrat got a severance agreement worth more than $300,000 when she left the civil service earlier this year by "mutual consent." That's what Finance Minister Colin Hansen said about Annette Antoniak's departure to The Vancouver Sun's Jeff Lee at the time, telling 24 hours's Bob Mackin it was "a window for her to make a career move." But employees who resign don't usually get a severance agreement.
"If you ask the average taxpayer what they think of that kind of payout, I think they'd be pretty concerned about that," said New Democrat critic Kathy Corrigan.
She's also concerned the government didn't tell the public about that deal. Instead, it took a freedom of information request filed by Public Eye to reveal the payout.
Much of that nine-page agreement has been blanked-out for privacy reasons. But the parts that aren't show Ms. Antoniak, the chief executive officer of the Olympic Games secretariat, received a settlement "in the amount of $328,804."
The province also gave her undisclosed "lump sum payments" connected to the bonuses she was awarded as a senior bureaucrat.
Asked about the deal, a government spokesperson explained even though Ms. Antoniak's "departure was ultimately by mutual agreement, she was entitled to a severance in keeping with public sector guidelines."
Ms. Antoniak - who could not be reached for comment - was replaced by Philip Steenkamp, the former top bureaucrat at the ministry of tourism, culture and the arts.
In October 2007, Ms. Antoniak's salary was increased from $157,500 to $188,842.