Shortly after the May 14 election, Premier Christy Clark and B.C. Liberal government quietly passed a cabinet order increasing the salaries of some of the highest-paid politicians in the province.
Benefiting from the changes more than anyone else is Michele Cadario, a new deputy chief of staff in the office of the premier.
According to documents examined by the Straight, Cadario was formally appointed to that position via Order in Council No 231 on June 3, 2013. That same day, Order in Council No 230 made two amendments to the B.C. Public Service Act. Taken together, the changes increase the salary that Cadario will receive from $144,000 to $230,000.
Council order 230 moves the position of deputy chief of staff in the premier’s office from a Band D level of compensation to Band C, and within Band C, increases the level of compensation Cadario will receive from $195,148 to $230,000.
That is, before these changes, Cadario would have been assigned a salary from Band D, which previously ranged from $108,000 to $144,000. She will now receive the highest level of compensation allowed by the Public Service Act, $230,000.
Many other political appointees will also be making more money this year, thanks to Clark’s June 3 amendments.
Her chief of staff, Dan Doyle, will now receive a salary of $230,000, up from $195,000.
Furthermore, a range of appointed positions classified as Band A staffers have had salary caps increased from $94,000 to $105,000.
Band A positions formerly included the titles of ministerial assistant, press secretary, director of issues management, senior coordinator, issues management and manager, and media monitoring. Council order 230 amends the B.C. Public Service Act to rename several of those positions. A section of the act that previously read “a ministerial assistant, director of issues management and manager, media monitoring”, now states, “a Chief of Staff, Minister’s Office, and Ministerial Assistant”.
Cadario, a campaign manager for the B.C. Liberals during the last provincial election, has a history with the federal Liberals.
In former prime minister Paul Martin’s 2009 autobiography, Hell or High Water: My Life in and out of Politics, he writes: “Michele Cadario, who had long been a road warrior in my cause, painstakingly building my organization across the country, became campaign director in the leadership campaign.
Martin described Cadario as a woman with a “strong social conscience” and called her a personal “driving force”. He noted that she was especially valuable to his campaign in Western Canada.
Clark’s wage increases come shortly after announcements claiming a Liberal government will balance the province’s budget and resist calls for increases in spending.