Sunshine List reveals Ontario's public sector salaries

The annual Sunshine List of the top-earning employees in Ontario's public sector has grown by seven per cent, with more than 123,000 people paid more than $100,000 last year.

Annual list names all provincial, municipal and education workers earning $100K or more

The annual Sunshine List of the top-earning employees in Ontario's public sector has grown by seven per cent, with more than 123,000 people paid more than $100,000 last year.

The provincial government published the 2016 version of the salary disclosure list on Friday. At the top is Ontario Power Generation CEO Jeffrey Lyash, paid $1,155,899 last year. 

Other notable top salaries include: 

  • William Moriarty, president and CEO of the University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation: $1,045,582.
  • Jill Pepall, executive VP, Ontario Pension Board: $835,389.
  • Glenn Jager, chief nuclear officer, Ontario Power Generation: $832,750.

Six of the top 10 salaries on the list are those of Toronto-area hospital executives, including:

  • Peter Pisters, president and CEO, University Health Network: $753,992.
  • Joseph Mapa, president and CEO, Sinai Health System: $719,724.
  • William Reichman, president and CEO, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care: $718,475.

All agencies that receive public funding from the province must disclose the names, positions and salaries of each employee paid $100,000 or more in a calendar year. That captures municipalities, school boards, hospitals, universities, colleges, and many charities, in addition to the Ontario public service.

The $100,000 figure represents total pay — salary plus any bonuses or overtime — but not benefits. Taxable benefits are reported on a separate line. 

Ontario taxpayers were still paying for the 2015 Pan Am Games in 2016. Seven staffers from the Toronto Organizing Committee are on the new Sunshine List, paid more than $100,000 each last year.

Publicly owned electricity generators and distributors are also required to disclose their top earners, but not Hydro One, since it was privatized by the Liberal government in 2015. Its CEO, Mayo Schmidt, earned $4.5 million last year, according to Hydro One's financial disclosures.

The former CEO of Ontario Power Generation, Tom Mitchell, who retired in 2015, is on the 2016 Sunshine List. He got a payout of $563,000 last year on top of the $1.59 million he received in 2015.

Ontario taxpayers were still paying for the 2015 Pan Am Games in 2016. Seven staffers from the Toronto organizing committee were paid more than $100,000 last year, led by the senior vice-president, Robert O'Doherty, who earned $358,500. 

Sunshine List facts 

There are 123,572 names on the list, including: 

  • More than 15,000 police officers.
  • 7,730 Ontario Power Generation staff.
  • 6,900 teachers.
  • 6,800 principals.
  • 5,790 professors.
  • 3,725 associate professors.
  • 3,500 registered nurses.

The Sunshine List was first published 20 years ago, by the Progressive Conservative government of Mike Harris. Just 4,576 names appeared on the first list. 

A salary of $100,000 earned in 1996 is the equivalent of $144,090 in 2016, according to the Bank of Canada's inflation calculator. There are 22,311 individuals on this year's list who earned above that mark. 

Premier Kathleen Wynne once again rejected arguments that the threshold for the list should rise to account for inflation.

Premier Kathleen Wynne says the government intends to keep the Sunshine List threshold at $100,000. Her salary was $208,974 last year. The premier's salary has been frozen since 2009. (Pierre-Olivier Bernatchez/CBC)

"I'm not sure that that accomplishes the transparency that the Sunshine List is intended to engender," Wynne told reporters on Wednesday. "You know $100,000 is still a lot of money so we're going to keep it at that level. People have the right to know where those salaries sit at." 

Last year, Wynne said, "Is $100,000 a lot of money? I think it is."

In 2014, she said, "$100,000 is still a lot of money."

Wynne earned $208,974 last year. Salaries for the premier, cabinet ministers and all MPPs have been frozen since 2009. More than 4,000 people on the Sunshine List earned more than Wynne. 

Other notable salaries on the list: 

  • Kumar Gupta, coroner, Ministry of Community Safety: $494,894.
  • Christopher Whitaker, president, Humber College: $469,839.
  • Bonnie Lysyk, auditor general: $310,174.
  • Steve Paikin, host/producer, TVO: $302,622.
  • Donna Quan, special adviser, ministry of education: $270,957.
  • Patricia Sorbara, deputy chief of staff, Office of the Premier: $156,290.

The growth of the Sunshine List now means that in addition to senior executives' salaries being laid bare, the public can also discover the salaries of people working in far less high-profile public sector jobs. For instance:

  • Wayne Glover, plumber, Toronto Community Housing Corp. $107,453.
  • Michael Osso, janitor, Ontario Power Generation: $104,498.
  • Corey Rooney. solid waste collection operator, City of Toronto: $100,206.

Who's on the Sunshine List in specific Ontario communities? Take a look at these stories:

With files from The Canadian Press