In the midst of a national health crisis, the Government of Ontario made time to release the annual Public Sector Salary Disclosure, aka: the “Sunshine List.” Since 1996, the Provincial government has released salary information for anyone who works for the government making $100,000 a year or more, and this year, the number of names on the list for Guelph went down by 89.
According to the figures released, the number of people on the “Sunshine List” from the City of Guelph, County of Wellington, the University of Guelph, government agencies, and the local school boarda for 2019 is 2,265, which is down from 2,354 in 2018.
“We have taken positive steps and seen real results, but we must continue working hard to ensure each dollar spent gets the best results for Ontarians,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board. “Our government has a prudent and responsible plan to manage the province’s finances and make sure we have the fiscal flexibility to deal with any challenge.”
The City of Guelph, the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington, the Guelph Family Health Team, the Local Integrated Health Network Waterloo-Wellington, and the Wellington Catholic District School Board all shed people on the list, while the University of Guelph, the Children’s Aid Society of Guelph & County of Wellington, the Guelph Community Health Centre, Guelph General Hospital, Guelph Police Service, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, and the Upper Grand District School Board all added positions.
All other agencies saw their numbers remain flat year-over-year.
In terms of individual achievement, University of Guelph President and Vice-Chancellor Franco Vaccarino remains the highest earner for Guelph with a salary of over $423,000. Vaccarino and four other faculty members from the U of G make up half of the Top 10 of Guelph’s “Sunshine List,” while Bruce Lauckner, the CEO of the Local Health Integration Network-Waterloo Wellington, and Guelph General Hospital President Marianne Walker are numbers two and three, respectively.
The highest paid member of City of Guelph staff is Chief Administrative Scott Stewart followed by Public Services DCAO Colleen Clack, and Police Inspector Scott Grover.
The complete breakdown can be found in the chart below:
Looking at the province-wide picture, Ontario added 11,602 new names to the “Sunshine List” for 2019 as compared to the 19,131 employees added in 2018.
Interestingly, despite Premier Doug Ford’s repeated concern about excessive compensation for Hydro One, it’s Ontario Power Generation that that leads the way on the “Sunshine List.” Half the positions in the Top 10 for all of Ontario come from OPG, including the outgoing and incoming CEO who, with over $925,000 in compensation each, take the top two spots.
Of course, given the times, it’s worth noting that over 21,000 names on the list work in a hospital or for a board of public health.
“Our government’s priority is the health and safety of all Ontarians and we are singularly focused on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bethlenfalvy. “However, our government has also made commitments to the people of Ontario on transparency, accountability and respecting their tax dollars.”
According to the Bank of Canada’s inflation calculator the $100,000 watermark for entry to the “Sunshine Lies” is closer to $156,000 in 2020 dollars, and if you were to use that metric, you would eliminate 88 per cent of the names on the list.
You can check out the full “Sunshine List” for yourself here.