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Timing right for BC Rail execs to go: minister Bond

Three of the four British Columbia Railway Company executives are losing their jobs now because the company's business has become small enough that the government can do it, said transportation and infrastructure minister Shirley Bond.

“Obviously as we move that organization back into government we have no longer a need for that executive group,” said Bond.

President and CEO Kevin Mahoney and executive vice-president real estate John Lusney, have been given their notice and will go by March 31, the Tyee reported yesterday. They'll receive severance payments of $392,000 and $203,000. Bond said vice-president finance and CFO Kevin Steinberg will also be given his notice as soon as possible, expected to be by the end of the year.

The New Democratic Party's finance critic, Bruce Ralston, reacted to the terminations saying, “It's about time and one wonders what the delay was.” The company has had little to do since the bulk of its operations were sold to the Canadian National Railway in 2004, he said.

The decision to bring B.C. Rail into the government was made after a review this year of the province's Crown corporations, said Bond. “This organization has actually done a pretty good job of restoring the B.C. Rail circumstance in terms of removing them from debt, selling properties,” she said. Since 2004 B.C. Rail has sold $180 million worth of land, she said.

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

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