Director of corporate services who worked less than 3 months among highest-paid Halifax workers

The clock tower of Halifax City Hall is pictured on Oct. 3, 2018. Alexander Quon/Global News

Halifax’s former executive director of corporate services — who worked for the municipality for less than three months — was among the highest-paid municipal employees last year.

John MacIsaac was paid $310,860.08 in total compensation for his time with the municipality.

He began the job in December 2019. By Feb. 26, 2020 he was out.

It’s unclear what the cause was for his brief tenure with the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and they’re not commenting.

“As with any personnel matter, the municipality is not in a position to publicly share details about someone’s departure, as we are bound by the requirements of Part XX of the Municipal Government Act,” Erin DiCarlo, a spokesperson for the municipality, said in a statement.

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MacIsaac’s salary is part of the HRM’s annual compensation disclosure initiative, or “sunshine list,” which releases the names and positions of public employees who make more than $100,000 in a fiscal year.

The figures include salary and any benefits they used during the time period of April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

It’s the fifth time the municipality has pulled back the curtain on its public employees’ finances.

The only person who earned more than MacIsaac is a former Halifax Transit mechanic who suffered racist discrimination on the job.

In May 2019 the municipality was ordered to pay the mechanic, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, $593,417 in a decision by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.

Click to play video: 'N.S. Human Rights Commission finds Halifax Transit mechanic was discriminated against'
N.S. Human Rights Commission finds Halifax Transit mechanic was discriminated against

A report released by the organization in 2018 found widespread racial discrimination and a poisoned work environment at Halifax Transit’s garage.

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The complainant is white, but his wife is African Nova Scotian. The report found Black and Indigenous co-workers also suffered under the actions of a former co-worker.

The mechanic filed the complaint with the human rights commission over 12 years ago, in July 2006, saying he suffered from trauma due to the hostile workplace.

Allegations in the case included a message scrawled on the men’s bathroom wall, which said “all minorities not welcome; show you care, burn a cross.” It was signed by “a member of the Baby Hitler.”

Number of employees earning over $100K continues to increase

The number of employees earning more than $100,000 a year continued to increase in the 2019-20 fiscal year.

According to an analysis by Global News, 999 employees made the “sunshine” list this past fiscal year.

It’s an increase over figures from last year. During the 2018-19 fiscal year, 847 Halifax employees made the sunshine list, the 2017-18 fiscal year saw 933 municipal employees make more than $100,000, and in the 2016-17 fiscal year, 568 employees made the list.

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Just as in past years, the municipality’s police and fire departments have continued to dominate the list of the municipality’s top earners.

Click to play video: 'Halifax police to cut budget by $5.5 million'
Halifax police to cut budget by $5.5 million

The Global News analysis indicates 758 of the 999 employees who made the list are categorized as working for Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency or for Halifax Regional Police.

There were 458 Halifax police employees on the list.

Jacques Dubé, the municipality’s chief administrative officer; Jon Traves, the municipality’s solicitor and director of legal services; Daniel Kinsella, the Halifax chief of police; Ken Stuebing, chief of Halifax Fire and Emergency and Brad Anguish, director of transportation and public works, round out the top 10 highest-paid employees.

The top 10 municipal employees made a total of $2,512,316.36 in compensation.

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With files from The Canadian Press

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