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Ontario Votes 2003

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Election Day: Oct. 2, 2003   

Are you wealthy?
 by Barry Brimbecom

From the outset of this election campaign, Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty has promised to roll back tax cuts that have been promised but not yet implemented by the governing Tories. Indeed, the line "I won't raise your taxes, but I won't lower them either," was central to his first television ad of the campaign.

In response, Tory leader Ernie Eves has portrayed that strategy as an underhanded attempt by McGuinty to raise taxes without taking responsibility for his actions. He has been particularly critical of the Liberal plan to maintain a surtax on people who earn between $60,000 and $75,000.

Eves returned to that theme at Tuesday's debate, saying that McGuinty and NDP leader Howard Hampton had skewed ideas about which Ontario residents could comfortably afford higher taxes.

Asked Wednesday to expand on his definition of who is well off in Ontario, Eves said, "You should not even be considered to be anywhere near wealthy, no matter where you live in this great province, unless you're making in the neighbourhood of $150,000 a year or more."

AUDIO: Ernie Eves sets the bar for being wealthy in Ontario at $150,000 (runs 1:13)

With that in mind, here's a quick look at some of the salaries earned by public servants, both "wealthy" and "not wealthy," across the province:

Cambridge Memorial Hospital
Wealthy: chief executive officer, $201,367.87
Not Wealthy: chief of staff, $104,565.15

City of Hamilton
Wealthy: chief of police, $171,548.45
Not Wealthy: chief librarian, $129,051.14

City of Timmins
Wealthy: treasurer, $192,163
Not Wealthy: fire chief, $106,033.28

House of Commons
Wealthy: prime minister, $278,400
Not Wealthy: backbench member of Parliament, $139,200

Independent Electricity Market Operator
Wealthy: president and chief executive officer, $598,143.58
Not Wealthy: manager, market relations, $128,305.34

Lakehead University
Wealthy: president, $191,177.44
Not Wealthy: vice-president (academic) and provost, $114,939

Ontario Legislature
Wealthy: premier, $147,100
Not Wealthy: backbench MPP, $85,240

Ottawa Congress Centre
Wealthy: president, $152,499.88
Not Wealthy: executive chef, $105,203.86

Royal Ontario Museum
Wealthy: president and CEO, $234,697.95
Not Wealthy: vice-president, collections and research, $138,060.90

Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board
Wealthy: director of education, $150,583.16
Not Wealthy: superintendent of schools, $115,854.28

Wealthy: host/producer, $170,821
Not Wealthy: chair and CEO, $115,000

In Perspective

Canada's top 10 per cent
Percentage of households earning more than $117,849: 10 per cent
Average income of households making more than $117,849: $185,070
Percentage of all household income made by that top 10 per cent: 28 per cent

Ontario numbers
Average income of Ontario's wealthiest 10 per cent of households: $212,852
Percentage of Ontario households making $61,024, or more: 50 per cent
Minimum wage in Ontario: $6.85 per hour, or $14,248 annually (based on 52 weeks of 40 hours)

Sources: Ontario Ministry of Finance; Statistics Canada 2001 Census



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