Do sunshine lists shame public sector employees?

Alberta's NDP government recently introduced legislation to expand the 'sunshine list', which makes the salaries of select highly-paid public sector employees public. We'll hear the case for and against sunshine lists from the Alberta Justice Minister and a long-time NDP supporter.

Alberta's NDP government recently introduced legislation to expand the 'sunshine list', which makes the salaries of select highly-paid public sector employees public. 

The Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act — or Bill 5 — adds some healthcare workers, university lecturers, and employees of publicly-funded boards and agencies to the sunshine list. 

But blogger and NDP supporter David Climenhaga says sunshine lists are "lousy public policy". He says the government should keep disclosing salaries but remove employees' names. 

They're an invasion of privacy; they single out a particular group of employees for, essentially, shaming. And I believe the original motivation for these policies came from the right as part of a broader strategy to undermine public services.- David Climenhaga

Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley argues the bill is necessary — and so are the names. 

Really, what the names do is they allow people to see who it is that's working at that salary level, and it allows us to shed some light for the public so that they can be assured that these aren't positions being appointed based on nepotism or patronage.- Kathleen Ganley


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