Over a quarter-million employees make six-figure salaries in Ontario public sector: Sunshine List

Ontario released its Sunshine List for the public sector, noting that nearly 267,000 employees make more than $100,000 annually.

Over a quarter-million employees make six-figure salaries in Ontario public sector: Sunshine List
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According to the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, organizations that receive public funding from the province must report the names, positions and pay of people who make more than $100,000.

The top-paid employees in the province come from Ontario Power Generation (OPG). Kenneth Hartwick, CEO of the electricity Crown corporation, is the top earner at over $1.7 million annually. Two other executives at the organization made nearly $1.7 million and almost $1 million.

OPG said the multi-billion dollar company competes internationally to attract the best talent, justifying salaries.

"OPG's leadership team is responsible for delivering the mandate of one of the most complex and diverse electricity generators in North America, executing one of the country's largest infrastructure projects with the Darlington Refurbishment," reads the statement. 

"OPG operates the biggest nuclear fleet in the country (10 reactors). OPG leadership is accountable for the safe generation of more than half the electricity Ontarians rely on daily."

The next most well-paid salary comes from Phil Verster, the CEO of Metrolinx — a Crown corporation prefaced on provincial transportation.

In addition to the regular GO Transit system, Metrolinx is responsible for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, whose opening has been delayed, and the Ontario Line.

Transportation spokesperson Dakota Brasier said Metrolinx oversees more than $80 billion of transit programs, including the GO Expansion program, four priority subway projects, and light rail projects in Toronto and the Peel Region.

"You need to have an effective and experienced leader in place to get the job done on time and within budget," said Brasier. 

"The CEO's role is critical to ensuring these projects are planned and delivered on time and budget and that Metrolinx works collaboratively with key delivery partners, including the Ministry of Infrastructure, Infrastructure Ontario, other ministries, municipalities and commercial rail partners."

Also dominating the sunshine list are hospital CEOs, including Kevin Smith, the president and CEO of the University Health Network, and Matt Anderson, CEO of Ontario Health, who both make over $800,000 annually.

Cameron Love, president and chief executive officer of The Ottawa Hospital, earned $647,124 in 2022.

Treasury Board President Prabmeet Sarkaria said Friday that Ontario's sunshine list includes nurses and teachers.

"The largest year-over-year increase was in the hospitals and boards of the public health sector, which represented almost half of the growth of the list," he wrote in a statement.

"This was primarily driven by an increase in the number of nurses represented on the list, which accounted for 78 percent of the growth in that sector as our government has continued to make unprecedented investments in connecting the people of Ontario to convenient care, including by hiring more health care workers."

The number of teachers earning $100,000 or more is at "historic highs," Sarkaria wrote, with 65,510 in 2022, up from 29,975 in 2020.

In addition to nurses and teachers, police officers and firefighters routinely made the list.

First responders represented nearly half of the City of Ottawa employees who appeared on the provincial sunshine list.

In a memo to Mayor Mark Sutcliffe and councillors, director of human resources services Elizabeth Marland reported that 5,831 city employees and elected officials were on the list released Friday by the Ontario Ministry of Finance.

Of that total, 48 percent were first responders: 1,657 members of the Ottawa Police Service, 851 with Ottawa Fire Services and 309 with the Ottawa Paramedic Service. Deputy police chief Steve Bell earned $333,037.36 last year.

The provincial government is also encouraging young people to enter a trade, with 89 plumbers or pipefitters, 16 boilermakers and 254 electricians on the list.

Salaries of other Ontario public figures include:

  • $208,974 for Premier Doug Ford
  • $346,303 for Ford's then-chief of staff, Jamie Wallace, who is now CEO of Supply Ontario
  • $466,057 for Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore
  • $456,720 for Chief Coroner Dr. Dirk Huyer
  • $391,986 for Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk
  • $361,781 for OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique
  • $348,615 for TVO journalist Steve Paikin
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