The release of Alberta's so-called sunshine list may push up government salaries, says a professor who studied Ontario's experience with similar lists.

York University professor Richard Leblanc says salaries in Ontario climbed significantly after that province introduced its sunshine list.

Employees use the information to negotiate for more pay, he said.

"Directors and executives have said to me, the single greatest driver of executive compensation has been sunshine laws and the availability of this data," he said.

LeBlanc said he used the list himself to bump his pay.

"You'd be crazy not to use it," he said. "It's available. It's out there and I benefited from it and my experience is no different from any other executive in the private or public sector."

Derek Fildebrandt, with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation concedes salaries have jumped in Ontario, but disputes it was a result solely of the sunshine list, blaming instead then-premier Dalton McGuinty.

"His giving these raises has resulted in significant salary and wage increases for government employees," he said.

In Alberta, the government isn't claiming salaries will level off or come down.

"We are an employer just like any other employer we need to make sure that we're paying our employees fairly," said Don Scott, associate minister of accountability, transparency and transformation.

With files from CBC's John Archer