Despite the Pandemic, Guelph and Area Adds 500 More to “Sunshine List”

Despite the economic issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, local Guelph and area governments and agencies added more than 500 more names to the so-called “Sunshine List” in 2020. The yearly disclosure of the government workers in the province making 100,000 or more was boosted largely by medical fields, but the number of employees on the list in almost all agencies went up.

In the media release from the Government of Ontario, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy noted that 75 per cent of the growth in public sector salary disclosure in 2020 was due to an increased number of hires at provincial hospitals, public health units, and other healthcare agencies.

“We know that Ontarians are relying on their government now, more than ever, during this pandemic to keep them safe and deliver the critical services they rely on, like health care and education,” said Bethlenfalvy. “Our government remains committed to ensuring that Ontarians have sustainable public services now and for future generations.”

In Guelph, that translated to over 100 new hires at Guelph General Hospital, seven new staff members at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, five new people at the Guelph Family Health Team, two at the local Canadian Mental Health Association office, and one new hire each for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and the Guelph Community Health Centre.

The education sector accounted for another big bump as hundreds of new teachers joined the ranks of the “Sunshine List”. The Upper Grand District School Board saw the number of employees on the list swell with an additional 230 people, while the Wellington Catholic Board added 17. The University of Guelph, meanwhile, added an additional 50 employees to the list.

In local government, the County of Wellington saw 12 more employees added to the list, while the City of Guelph saw an increase of one less than 70.

The highest paid employee at the City of Guelph is Chief Administrative Officer Scott Stewart, but he was 19th overall among the highest earners on the Guelph list. Former president of the U of G Franco Vaccarino was the highest paid person from Guelph on the list followed by Guelph General Hospital CEO Marrianne Walker, current U of G president Charlotte Yates, St. Joseph’s president David Wormald, and hospital pathologist Dr. Truong Nguyen.

In the Top 20, there were 14 people from the University of Guelph, two from Guelph General Hospital, and one from the City of Guelph, Guelph Community Health, St. Joseph’s and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

There were a total of 2,785 people from Guelph and area on the “Sunshine List” for 2020 versus 2,265 the year before, an increase of nearly 20 per cent year-over-year.

The full breakdown of this year’s numbers, plus how they’ve changed since 2017, can be found on the chart below:

It’s important to note that according to the Bank of Canada’s Inflation Calculator, $100,000 in 1996, the year that the Ontario government began releasing the “Sunshine List”, is the equivalent of $157,661.75 in 2021.

You can check out the full list for yourself by clicking here.

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