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'I obviously don't agree': minister Hansen on BC Ferries' Hahn

British Columbia finance minister Colin Hansen said he disagrees with B.C. Ferry Services Inc.'s CEO David Hahn's attack on a finance ministry report that found, among other things, that Hahn is overpaid.

Hahn used words like "biased," "nonsense," "craziness" and "dumb" to describe the report by comptroller general Cheryl Wenezenki-Yolland released earlier this month.

“He reports to his board of directors and he will have to be accountable to them over what he says and his actions,” said Hansen in a scrum with reporters. “I obviously don't agree with his comments. I think the comptroller general has done a very thorough and competent job.”

Wenezenki-Yolland did exactly what the government asked her to do, said Hansen. The government wants B.C. Ferries to act like a private sector business, but it also has to be accountable for the amount of funding it receives from the province, he said.

The provincial government's 2009-2010 budget for coastal ferries is $172 million. Hahn was paid over $1 million last year.

The government needs to do more to distance itself from Hahn's comments, said New Democratic Party Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth. “He used extremely strong language,” he said. “To use the language he did I think is provocative and inflammatory.”

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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