Executives with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia collected tens of thousands in bonuses last year despite being caught in the middle of what the province's attorney general has called a "financial dumpster fire."
The bonuses might seem small compared to the staggering billion-dollar loss at ICBC last year, but Attorney General David Eby says the way executives are compensated needs to change.
The insurance provider lost an average of $3.5 million a day due to a spike in crashes and injury claims, neither of which is under executives' control.
Several cashed in bonus or holdback cheques because they met other milestones. For example, ICBC's investment portfolio performed well.
In the last fiscal year, the largest bonus went to the chief investment officer, who received almost $50,000. The interim CEO got a few thousand dollars less, and the insurer's former chief financial officer—who worked only part of the year—received $36,000.
News of ICBC's financial woes came to light back in January, when it projected $1.3 billion in net losses for the fiscal year—an announcement that had everyone pointing fingers about who is to blame.
Eby blamed a number of factors, including distracted driving, alleged overbilling by auto body shops and financial mismanagement by the Liberals, who were in power for 16 years before John Horgan's NDP took over government in July of 2017.
The province has since introduced changes to the way insurance premiums are calculated, caps on person injury claims and other cost-saving measures intended to bring ICBC's finances back in order.
According to the attorney general, executive compensation is also under the microscope.
"There are a lot of frustrating things about our insurer that we are slowly fixing and compensation is one of them," Eby said. "We've taken extensive steps to reduce executive compensation at ICBC that we inherited from the previous administration."
Executive compensation at ICBC was lower last year than it was in 2011 because there are fewer senior management roles.
Eby said his ministry is working with lawyers, the Public Sector Employers Council and ICBC to see if the compensation structure can be changed.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Bhinder Sajan