TransLink reveals sizable salaries in 2017 financial report, some topping the Prime Minister

Photo of the SkyTrain travelling on the tracks in Vancouver, B.C. Canadian Press / Bayne Stanley

TransLink has finally made its financial report from last year public — and what some people are earning at the transportation authority may surprise you.

CEO Kevin Desmond made $407,000 last year.

When other compensation and his pension are rolled in, Desmond’s total remuneration for 2017 was $459,000.

That’s a jump from 2016, when Desmond’s total remuneration was $317,000; his base salary was $272,000.

READ MORE: TransLink’s board of directors cost taxpayers more than half a million dollars last year

Next on the list is President of BC Rapid Transit Company Vivienne King, with a salary last year of $316,000 and total remuneration totaling $356,000.

In 2016, her base salary was $255,000.

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Transit Police Chief Doug LePard’s salary was $209,000 in 2017; his total remuneration with pension was $234,000.

LePard’s salary in 2016 was $140,000.

Desmond, King and LePard were hired by TransLink in 2016 and did not work for the company for the full year.

READ MORE: TransLink’s six-figure salary club grows to 596 people

BC Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Kris Sims says some of those names are making more than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“We all pay their salaries, if we are in and around Vancouver, and in some cases they are making more than the Prime Minister who is in charge of a G7 country,” she said.

“I think that does not pass the smell test for most people.”

TransLink CFO Cathy McLay made $304,000 and the head of Coast Mountain Bus Company Hadyn Acheson earned $289,000.

READ MORE: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says TransLink is paying its executives too much

As well, just over 40 Transit Police officers made $100,000 or more.

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Sims calls the numbers “overwhelming.”

“I think the average working person would be shocked to know the head of a regional transit commission makes more than the Prime Minister of Canada.”

“It’s astounding how much these people make, unelected, even though they are paid through taxpayers and ratepayers…. these people who are paid from the same public purse in most cases never have to answer for it or face a voter.”

The TransLink Board approves all salaries of senior staff.

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