BDC dishes out bonuses and raises during pandemic

Author: Ryan Thorpe 2023/01/30

The Business Development Bank of Canada dished out $104 million in bonuses and raises in 2020 and 2021, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation through access-to-information requests. 

“The federal Crown corporation shouldn’t have doled out big bonuses and higher pay while Canadians were losing their jobs and businesses,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal director of the CTF. 

The BDC issued $93 million in bonuses to its employees during the two-year period — an average of $20,158 in 2020 and $19,923 in 2021. It also gave out $11 million in pay raises during the pandemic years — without a single pay cut.

The senior executive team took home $8 million in salary and benefits in 2020, followed by $8.8 million in 2021, according to the BDC’s latest annual report. That’s a 10 per cent pay bump — despite the fact the number of people on the senior management team fell from 24 to 23 during that time.

This past year, the average salary for senior management at the Crown corporation was about $385,000. Meanwhile, the average Canadian salary in September 2022 was roughly $59,000, according to data from a recent federal government Labour Force Survey. 

“BDC is a Crown corporation that is wholly owned by the Government of Canada and is accountable for its affairs through the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small business and Economic Development,” according to its annual report

The current president of the BDC is Isabelle Hudon, former Canadian Ambassador to France, who was appointed to the top spot at the Crown corporation in 2021 by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

One of Hudon’s first moves at the BDC was to award a $5-million contract to the consulting firm McKinsey. This included a contract extension of $2.1 million. 

She has faced backlash internally at the BDC for wasteful spending, including $320,000 on a single event where attendees say “they still have no idea what the point of it was,” according to the CBC. 

Hudon also flew her Montreal-based personal chauffeur to British Columbia on the taxpayers’ dime on two occasions in 2022.








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