Carbon Cadman told Georgia Straight readers they should be grateful that he never charged taxpayers directors fees for his trip to Poznan, Poland
Earlier this week, we reported on the fact Carbon Cadman (a.k.a COPE Councillor David Cadman) had claimed just under $120K for expenses related to his travel outside of Vancouver from 2005-2008. At CityCaucus.com headquarters located in beautiful downtown Vancouver, Cadman is referred to as the de facto municipal foreign affairs minister. In fact, we doubt Canada's real foreign affairs minister comes anywhere near conducting the kind of international travel the good councillor has undertaken.
One of the items that was somewhat overlooked in all the hooplah surrounding the revelation that Carbon Cadman has been racking up more Aeroplan points than Calvin Rovenescu, is how much the councillor was paid in "Directors Fees". Since 2005, Carbon Cadman has been paid almost $60K in a salary top up by Metro Vancouver taxpayers to represent organizations such as ICLEI.
If you review our recent FOI regarding the documents we released earlier this week, you will note there is a line item referring to "Directors Fees". We can confirm this is a salary paid to Carbon Cadman on top of his base councillor salary when he decides he needs to travel to foreign destinations. The following is a copy of an email we recieved from Metro Vancouver explaining how financially rewarding it can be for an opposition city councillor to fly around the world and act as foreign affairs minister.
The Directors Fee is the equivalent of the director’s salary, except that it is paid on a “per-meeting” basis (unlike in a municipality). In other words, remuneration is paid for each meeting attended. Directors are paid such Directors Fees whether they are attending a meeting in Burnaby or elsewhere in the world.
The fees are administered according to the provisions of the Remuneration Bylaw. The 2009 Directors Fee is $316.10 for each meeting under 4 hours, and doubles if the meeting exceeds 4 hours (i.e. $632.20).
These fees are not part of the director’s claim; they are a payroll function. That’s why they are in separate columns. In short though, remuneration includes three elements: expenses, per diem, and directors fee.
I hope that answers your question. If not, let me know.
Information and Privacy
Interestingly, Carbon Cadman hasn't sat as a Director of the Greater Vancouver Regional District since 2005, when COPE lost the election to the NPA. Even Vision Vancouver Mayor Robertson decided not to appoint Carbon Cadman as a Director to Metro Vancouver. Regardless, Metro Vancouver continues to reimburse him directors fees for all of his international travel.
In response to a Georgia Straight article about Carbon Cadman's request to Metro Vancouver to support further international travel, he tried to convince readers that he wasn't charging fees for all of his travel. He chose to focus on one of his trips to Poland to demonstrate that he is being careful with regional tax dollars. Here is a copy of his letter to the Georgia Straight:
Your readers should know I did attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Posnan, Poland where in my capacity as International President of the 1050 city organization ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, [“Councillor slams Cadman over $17,000”, February 12-19] we brought together 400 delegates from cities around the world to convey a simple message- with half of the world’s population living in cities, soon to be two-thirds, with cities being responsible for 75% of the world’s greenhouse gases any solution is necessarily going to have to involve cities and help finance a low carbon future. The total cost of my attendance $508. No airfare, no accommodation and no director’s fees were paid to me.
Second I do report directly to Metro Vancouver on all of my ICLEI involvement and itemize each and every expense and have spoken directly to the Metro Board several times to explain precisely the issues being advanced and my role. I think this would explain my nomination to the ICLEI Executive Committee by the Board in 2003, 2005 and again in 2008. I would think that means that the overwhelming majority of the Metro Board support the work I am doing for ICLEI and understand that I am getting ICLEI to assume more of the costs of the President. Metro paid for 4 airfares in 2008 and no accommodation costs- all of these were covered by ICLEI. The question the Metro Board has to decide is when they nominate somebody to represent them on any body do they support that person or expect the organization to which they have been sent to pay.
One final note on Carbon Cadman's travel itinerary, it is rather ironic that the Councillor almost always seems to take taxis to and from the airport when he travels. That includes taxis to and from Vancouver airport to his home. If Carbon Cadman is so concerned about the environment, and he supports public transit as much as he claims to, why does he not take the bus or train more often? It's likely because the current bus service to the airport is so bad.
Perhaps when the new Canada Line opens up in September at the airport, Carbon Cadman will decide that public transit is now finally convenient enough to jump aboard. Or perhaps not...
If you recall, Carbon Cadman was one of the biggest opponents of constructing the Canada Line, a low-emission rapid transit project that will take 100,000 cars off the road each day. Such is the nuttiness of the Symbolic Environmentalist Movement (SEM).