Toronto, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is slamming the Ontario government for adding 38,508 government employees to the province’s sunshine list in 2020, a year which marked the sharpest economic decline on record.
“It’s outrageous that the government is handing out raises to already well paid government employees at a time when taxpayers can least afford it,” said Jasmine Moulton, Ontario Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “This is further proof: we’re not all in this together.”
The number of people on the province’s public sector salary disclosure (sunshine) list of government employees earning a salary over $100,000 increased by 23 per cent, from 167,098 in 2019 to 205,606 in 2020.
Six of the top seven spots were occupied by employees of Ontario Power Generation, with Kevin Hartwick, OPG President and CEO taking the top spot with a salary of $1.2 million. The number of teachers on the list doubled from 14,757 to 29,902, which means nearly a quarter – 23 per cent – of Ontario teachers now earn a six-figure salary in addition to generous taxpayer-funded pension contributions and benefits packages.
Last year marked the steepest economic downturn on record, according to the province’s Financial Accountability Office. Ontario shed 355,300 jobs in 2020 and the province’s unemployment rate still remains high at 9.2 per cent. The vast majority of job losses – approximately nine out of 10 – occurred outside of government.
Ontario’s debt is approaching $400 billion while last year’s budget deficit was $39 billion.
“Usually when an employer’s broke, it hands out pink slips instead of raises,” said Moulton. “This government must act now to reduce the size and cost of government instead of handing out raises that taxpayers can’t afford.”
Ontario Director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation