BC Lottery Laying Off 67 as Part of Massive Job Cuts

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Canadian Press
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BC Lottery Laying Off 67 as Part of Massive Job Cuts

VANCOUVER – (Canadian Press) - Gaming employees are facing layoffs, after the BC Lottery Corporation announced Friday it was eliminating 67 positions in the province, including 33 in Vancouver.

The job losses come after the departure of CEO Michael Graydon to the private sector in January, and as the corporation faces a financial audit by the provincial government.

Interim CEO and President Jim Lightbody says the layoffs were prompted by significant financial pressures, which he blames on rising operating costs and flat revenue growth.

“We are going through the process to ensure we’re properly focused on our business priorities, operating efficiently and set up for growth in the long term,” he said, in a statement Friday.

The other 29 positions eliminated are in the Kamloops office and five from field staff who work throughout the province. Lightbdy said some of the roles were eliminated through attrition and voluntary termination.

The company said the cuts will save the company about $20 million. Along with the layoffs, marketing and advertising expenses have been sliced 23 per cent, contracts with suppliers have been renegotiated and the BCLC fleet program is cancelled.

“These kinds of decisions are difficult for any business, but they are the right decisions to best position BCLC to continue delivering strong net income to benefit British Columbians,” said Lightbody.

Almost half of BCLC’s staff is located in the Kamloops office, about a third are in Vancouver and the remainder are in field services supporting operations across the province.

The Crown corporation responsible for gambling hired Graydon for the job in March 2008. About a year and a half earlier, it terminated its CEO after an Ombudsman’s report concluded the corporation was at risk for potential retailer fraud.

The corporation is also facing a B.C. government audit. The internal review began Jan. 13, two weeks before Graydon resigned, although both the government and lottery corporation say his departure was unrelated.

Two other senior executives have also left BCLC within the last 10 months.

BCLC is the fourth Crown corporation to undergo a financial review after Premier Christy Clark promised a “hard look at all Crown Corporations” for internal savings in her 2011 throne speech.

The Clark government’s previous reviews of Crown corporations have produced scathing results.

Internal auditors first targeted BC Hydro in 2011, halting a planned 50-per-cent rate hike and instead suggesting $800 million in cuts to a bloated workforce and capital projects.

Within two months, then-CEO Dave Cobb resigned to take a job in the private sector.

The Insurance Corp. of B.C. was then reviewed in 2012, with government’s Internal Audit and Advisory Services branch highlighting an overabundance of managers, perks and executive pay hikes during a time of economic uncertainty for the rest of the organization..

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