TORONTO – Four executives with Toronto’s 2015 Pan Am Games committee cracked the Top 10 on the Ontario sunshine list of public sector workers paid more than $100,000.
Pan Am CFO Barbara Gail Anderson was paid $862,000, executive vice-president Allen Vansen $817,000, senior vice-president Karen Hacker $804,000 and vice-president Katherine Henderson more than $776,000.
Former Pan Am CEO Saad Rafi was the highest paid civil servant in 2015 at $427,326.64 plus $15,378.81 in taxable benefits as a deputy minister. Pan Am communications director Neala Barton was paid $300,000.
“The Pan Am Games were widely regarded as the best games ever,” said deputy premier Deb Matthews. “It’s an international sporting event and you’ve got to pay those rates.”
As usual, the electricity sector had the highest public sector salaries, but unlike previous years, about half the power workers who used to be on the sunshine list are now excluded because the Liberals sold 15 per cent of Hydro One.
Tom Mitchell, the former CEO at Ontario Power Generation who resigned last summer, topped the 2015 list at $1.59 million, followed by William Moriarty, CEO of the University of Toronto’s Asset Management Corporation, at $1.47 million.
Former Hydro One CEO Tom Marcello was paid $745,000 in 2014, but compensation for his replacement, and all workers at the utility, is no longer public information.
There are 115,431 people on the 2015 list, an increase of nearly 4,000 despite the fact 3,774 Hydro One workers who were paid over $100,000 last year are no longer included.
The opposition parties said the Liberals should not have exempted Hydro One from the sunshine list, or from oversight by the auditor general, ombudsman and financial accountability officer.
“When you consider the taxpayers own 85 per cent of Hydro One, to not have any of their staff listed on it I think is a terrible omission,” said Vic Fedeli, Progressive Conservative finance critic.
The New Democrats said removing Hydro One from the sunshine list is hardly open and transparent as the Liberals claim to be.
“We’re going to see a big hole where there used to be disclosure around Hydro One, and that is not good for the people of Ontario,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.
Donna Quan, the former Toronto District School Board director of education, who resigned last year amid troubles at the board and is now an adviser to the Ministry of Education, got $607,287 in salary and benefits.
Radiologist Robert Vinson of the Woodstock Hospital is the top earner on the list who isn’t a president, vice-president or managing director, at a salary of $654,052.
Fifty-eight people had salaries over $500,000 last year.
Ornge air ambulance President and CEO Andrew McCallum made $418,000.
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board president and CEO David Marshall made $400,000.
Some other highlights from the sunshine list include:
Premier Kathleen Wynne, who was paid said $209,374 in salary and benefits, said she had no plans to raise the $100,000 threshold for the sunshine list, even though it was set 20 years ago.
“I think there are lots of people, many, many thousands of people in this province, who would say $100,000 is still a lot of money to earn,” she said. “I think it’s still relevant at that rate, and so that’s why we’ve left it there.”
Wynne denied the government tried to bury the list by releasing it at the start of a four-day weekend, and at the same time as the verdict in the high profile trial of former broadcast Jian Ghomesehi, but the NDP disputed her claim.
“They use these kinds of opportunities when there’s another big news story or when there’s a long weekend to try to avoid the accountability and transparency on things like the sunshine list,” said Horwath. “So I’m not surprised. They do it every time.”
© 2016 The Canadian Press