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Pay dips for top B.C. executives after pandemic spike

Compensation rose two per cent last year after 42 per cent bump in 2020

Compensation for British Columbia’s top executives fell slightly in 2021 after a massive bump in the first year of the pandemic, according to data collected on Business in Vancouver’s list of the top 100 highest-paid executives in the province (pages 11, 13).

Average executive compensation fell for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019 after a 17.1 per cent increase in 2017. After bottoming out in 2019, average compensation soared 42.2 per cent to $4.8 million in 2020, up from $3.3 million the year before. It then slipped two per cent to $4.7 million in 2021.

Median executive compensation has followed a similar trend since 2018, which suggests that gains or cutbacks in compensation tend to be seen throughout the list in any given year and are not concentrated among either the highest or lowest earners. Forty-two executives on this year’s list were also on the list in 2018. Twenty-five of them rose in the rankings, and 15 fell. 

Aritzia Inc. (TSX:ATZ) executive chair Brian Hill saw the largest decline on BIV’s list. He slipped to No. 58 in 2022 from No. 20 in 2018. The drop of 38 places in the top 100 rankings was largely the result of a 44.3 per cent decline in total compensation to $3 million in 2021 from $5.4 million in 2017. 

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated PanAmerican Silver Corp. COO Steven Busby's total compensation.