Ontario’s Sunshine List

The Ontario government released its annual sunshine list, and the number of public sector workers earning $100,000 or more in 2018 was up 14.5%.

More than 151,000 employees made the cut and the list grew by over 19,000 compared to 2017. Their salaries and benefits total more than 19 billion dollars. No one from Hamilton made it into the top ten, but an interesting find in the city, one police constable ranked pretty high this year, making nearly as much as the police chief.

CEO Jeff Lyash, who is leaving Ontario Power Generation later this week tops the list for the third straight year with earnings of more than 1.7-million dollars. 13th on the list is the highest earning public worker in our area: Kevin Smith, the CEO at both St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Niagara health made nearly $700,000. Hamilton Health Sciences CEO Rob MacIsaac was close behind, earning $633,000.

Looking at municipalities and services what stood out here in the City of Hamilton was that the third highest paid was a Hamilton Police Constable, Arthur Sterling made $252,000. Police say Sterling is a hard working cop but his total earnings are $24,000 more than Deputy Chief Dan Kinsella, and only $3,000 less than Police Chief Eric Girt, but Girt’s $255,000 paycheck is a lot less than his nearby counterparts.

Niagara’s Police Chief Bryan MacCulloch earned over $281,000, while Halton Police Chief Stephen Tanner took home $292,000.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger made the list again this year, topping $184,000.

Niagara Falls mayor Jim Diodati and St. Catharines mayor Walter Sendzik didn’t make the list.

Marvin Ryder from the DeGroote School of Business says the $100,000 salary threshold for disclosure has not changed since 1996, when the legislation came into effect.

Many saying with inflation, the sunshine list should increase to $200,000.

It’s also worth noting that there are no women or people of colour among the top 10 earners in the province’s public sector.