Province follows through on promise to cap salaries for CEOs
After years of promising caps on CEO salaries, the province of Ontario is finally following through with legislation that will save an estimated $12 million.
Finance minister Dwight Duncan made the announcement on Thursday, September 20 when he proposed legislation to cap the pay of public sector executives.
Duncan said he wants to introduce legislation to cap salaries for senior public sector executives at hospitals, universities, agencies and in the civil service at $418,000 and eliminate bonuses for two years.
There are approximately 150 executives in Ontario's public sector who earn that amount or more, mostly employed in hospitals.
The legislation, if passed, would also freeze the pay for about 8,800 managers in the public service for three years.
The Liberals government says it needs the wage freeze to avoid layoffs and service cuts as it attempts to eliminate the province's $14.8 billion deficit by 2017-18 and avoid a credit downgrade.
"These measures are necessary to help us meet out fiscal targets and we are asking everyone to do their fair share," Duncan said in a press conference last Thursday. "More that half of government costs go to wages and benefits. This pay freeze will help us protect public services and jobs."
Duncan noted that the legislation won't reduce the incomes for the 150 public sector managers who already make more than $418,000, including hydro and hospital executives.
The province will also grant exemptions for jobs such as chief nuclear officer at Ontario Power Generation.
The annual "sunshine list" which was published in March of this year, the number of Ontario public sector workers earning more than $100,000 in 2011 jumped 11 per cent from the year before>
Despite struggling with the provincial deficit and promising to cap salaries, Ontario's so-called sunshine list of provincial civil servants whose taxable earnings exceeded $100,000 last year rose to 71,478.
The top earner was Ontario Power Generation president Tom Mitchell, who took home more than $1.3 million last year.
In 2009, there were 64,132 people on the list.
The Ontario government began releasing the list of $100,000-plus earners in 1995. The list includes any public servant whose salary is derived from provincial money, including municipalities.
According to numbers from Statistics Canada, only 6.2 per cent of the overall Canadian population earns more than $100,000 a year. About five per cent of the broader public-sector workforce made the latest sunshine list.
Locally, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical officer of health with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), is the highest paid public servant in the Prescott-Russell region with a salary of $300,449.
Marc LeBoutillier, director general of the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital, raked in $225,057. More than 25 hospital employees made the list this year.
At the Glengarry Memorial Hospital, the highest-paid employee was director general Linda Morrow with a salary of $126,037.
In the City of Clarence-Rockland, former director general Daniel Gatien made the list with $100,782, as did recreational service director Therese Lefaivre with $109,061.
At the Town of Hawkesbury, director general Normand Beaulieu is the highest-paid employee ($128,993), captain firefighter Daniel Gascon ($127,289); captain firefighter Yves Berniquez ($121,439); firefighter Michel Poulin ($119,958); captain firefighter Luc Dubois ($113,249) and fire chief Ghislain Pigeon ($104,957).
In Champlain Township only chief administrative officer/clerk treasurer Jean Theriault made the list with a salary of $117,661.
In Russell Township, chief administrative officer Jean Leduc was the only person on the list with a salary of $137,668.
Village of Casselman director general Brian Carre made the list with a salary of $109,686.
The townships of East Hawkesbury and Alfred-Plantagenet don't have any employees on the list.
At the United Counties of Prescott-Russell, chief administrative officer Stephane Parisien is the highest-paid employee with a salary of $154,879. Also on the list from the united counties are economic development director Sylvain Charlebois ($104,044); emergency service director Michel Chretien ($112,594); public works director Marc Clermont ($112,594); social services administrator Anne Comtois-Lalonde ($112,594); emergency services superintendent Daniel Lacelles ($100,602); Prescott-Russell Home for the Aged administrator Louise Lalonde ($108,257); treasurer Louise Lepage-Gareau ($112,594); planning and forestry director Louis Prevost ($106,212) and deputy chief of operations Louis Rathier ($105,857).