VANCOUVER, B.C. – Voters deserve to know what taxpayers paid TransLink’s top seven executives last year before voting closes in the TransLink tax plebiscite, but TransLink has refused to release those numbers, says the No TransLink Tax campaign.
Under provincial law, government agencies must release a document outlining wages, bonuses, and benefits paid to top executives. But in a May 5 email response to a March 20 Freedom of Information Act request, TransLink refused to release its 2014 executive compensation document.
“Ms. Sandra Hentzen, Executive Vice President, Human Resources has informed me that the information you have requested will be available publicly, by June 17, 2015,” wrote a TransLink FOI officer to the No TransLink Tax campaign.
Voting on the TransLink tax grab ends May 29. TransLink officials waited until the last possible moment allowed under the Act to respond to the FOI request, and have now pushed it beyond the voting period.
“What is TransLink hiding?” asked Jordan Bateman, spokesperson for the No TransLink Tax campaign. “Why won’t they tell taxpayers how much we paid their top executives last year? Is it so bad they’re worried it will scuttle what’s left of their tax campaign?”
The No TransLink Tax campaign is calling on TransLink and its Mayors’ Council to immediately release the document. TransLink year-end closed December 31st, so the information is readily available internally.
“TransLink still hasn’t learned the lesson from this campaign – that the public expects a free flow of information from an agency spending $1.4 billion a year,” said Bateman. “They claim ‘facts matter,’ but the only facts they’ve proven is that they only care about spinning and hiding information to protect their own interests, and forcing a major tax hike on to every Lower Mainlander.”
TransLink’s 2013 executive compensation document showed that every executive received more money than the year before, despite the TransLink board chair’s explicit promise that executive pay was frozen at 2012 levels.
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