Highly Paid Government Workers

Ontario publishes the names and compensation of any public sector employee earning more than $100,000 per year. You can look up the listings by category by visiting the Ontario Government’s website here.

British Columbia also publishes data, although the only link I could find (albeit after only looking for about 5 minutes) shows executive compensation for senior executives and the next four levels of executives who earn more than $125,000 per year. You can find the link here.

Some highlights from Ontario:

CEO of Hydro One 2008 Salary – $924,436.94
CEO of Independent Electricity System Operator – $597,588.01
Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission – $705,604.65
CEO of University Health Network – $736,799.55

While these are large numbers, they actually pale in comparison to their private sector counterparts.

However, it is interesting to note that their collective boss, the Prime Minister of Canada, has a salary of approximately $300,000 (thanks to reader Sean for the info!)

Preet Banerjee
Preet Banerjee
...is an independent consultant to the financial services industry and a personal finance commentator. You can learn more about Preet at his personal website and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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Showing 12 comments
  • Brian

    I almost spat out my drink when I read how much the PM of Canada get’s paid! Talk about undercompensated.

  • Preet

    @Brian – well, he does get a $2,200 (or thereabouts) car allowance too… :)

  • Jason

    Yah, quite the parody between the PM vs. CEO of the bloated energy company getting our tax dollar. What I don’t know is the perks a government employee gets vs. to a Hydro One employee.

  • Sean

    While I do understand this is in the interest of transparency, I don’t see why public employees must be identified by name. You’d think this could make them vulnerable to things such as fraud or identity theft. They could instead be identified solely by position where they work. At least this would provide some protection and privacy, while still declaring these salaries.

    Along the same thread: why not make public companies disclose all salaries over a certain threshold? Either publicly, or at least to shareholders. I understand that some salaries are disclosed, but why not all above a threshold like in the public sector? It would seem the rationale for releasing public sector salaries is so the taxpayer can see where their money is going, but aren’t shareholders of a public company akin to taxpayers?

    Just some thoughts :)

  • Sean

    @Brian and @ Preet:

    $151k seemed low to me too, so I did some investigation:

    Apparently the base salary for a Canadian MP is approx. $150k, with the following bonuses if you have additional duties:

    Prime minister: $150,800
    Minister: $72,200
    Minister of state: $72,200
    Commons Speaker: $72,200
    Leader of the Opposition: $72,200
    Leaders of other parties: $51,400
    Whip: $27,200
    Committee chair: $10,700
    Committee vice-chair: $5,500

    That would put the PM more around the $300k range. (Source: http://www2.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=ea318a9c-4e24-4556-847e-2c162a7f1d36)

    Interestingly, the US President’s salary is only around $400k. He does however have one badass Cadillac.

  • Preet

    @Sean – thanks for the great info! I like your idea of protecting the names of the salary list and just listing the position. For the higher ups, this won’t matter much as a little digging will quickly yield the names, but still – it makes a bit more sense I think.

  • Michael - Fat Loss Tips

    That’s it? Unbelievable. Just for comparison sake, what does Obama’s yearly salary look like?

  • SBT

    Before everyone gets outta whack about the poor PM being grossly underpaid, let’s have a comparision, shall we?

    “The [United States] President earns $400,000 per year, along with a $50,000 monthly expense account, a $100,000 non-taxable travel account and $19,000 for entertainment.”

    That equals out to $1.119 million per year — 3.73 times that of the PM.

    As of 2006, there are approximately 22 million tax payers in Canada.
    As of 2007, there are about 138 million taxpayers in the United States — 6.27 times that of Canada.

    So…mathematically (because math, unlike politicians, never lies), the PREZ has a tax base SIX times that of the PM, yet his compensation is not even FOUR times that of the PM. Something amiss?

    Let’s work the other way: the PREZ’s compensation/tax base = 1.119 million/6.27 ~ $178,500 is what the PM’s salary “should” be in comparison to the PREZ’s.

    Thus, if you work from tax bases, the PM is OVER compensated by a margin of almost 1.5 times –or he makes 68% more than he should!

    Poor PM my A$$!

  • SBT


    The above was, of course, an ‘at-par’ comparison in terms of currencies.

    The PM’s end result comparison wage of US$178,500 is, at today’s exchange, C$200,000 (rounded up).

    Thus, the grand PM ends up being over-compensated by a mere 50% (instead of 68%).


  • Daniel

    At least their salary are transparent. Everybody can see where their taxes go. The question is: are all the money well spend ?

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