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Health minister wants answers on pay hikes

"It's difficult to understand all of the complexities of cases like this," Lake said. "However, with all the good intentions and intent we must ensure we are following all of the legal processes that are necessary to ensure people's rights are protected.". THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VICTORIA – B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake says he is looking for answers around how a top level health bureaucrat was able to approve pay increases for 118 Provincial Health Authority Association managers despite a government-wide pay freeze.

Lake says the authority’s board of directors is seeking legal advice on the possibility of rolling back the pay hikes, while also examining how the increases were approved without the board’s scrutiny.

Health Authority CEO and president Lynda Cranston resigned last Friday after saying she approved the increases last month that added up to more than $620,000 a year.

Health Authority board chairman Wynne Powell says Cranston told him she approved the raises without consulting the board in part to slow the flood of managers leaving the authority for higher paying private-sector jobs.

Opposition NDP finance critic Mike Farnworth says the Liberal government’s post-election raises to ministerial managers, which have now been rolled back, set the tone across government that raises were acceptable.

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