Ontario Sunshine List 2024 Reveals Why People Can’t Afford To Buy A Home

Ontario Sunshine List is released every year and it reveals the salaries of public sector workers who take home a salary in excess of $100,000. This year the list features 300,570 names which is 30,000 higher than last year of public sector employees with salaries over $100,000. The Ontario Sunshine list also features five employees working at the Ontario Power Generation who are among the top 10 earners with the province’s highest salary nearing $2 million.

Ontario had passed the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act in 1996 under the Mike Harris government and the stated aim of the act was to make the government more transparent and accountable. The $100,000 limit was a big deal then.

However the $100,000 in 1996 in relative terms in 2024 will be equivalent to $180,564.97. If you remove 300,570 people on this year’s Ontario Sunshine List for that salary threshold there you drop 279,781 names. In other words there will be many people who will not be able to own a house without help from family or an inheritance.

In a nutshell it means that employees who take home a six figure salary package will still feel the pinch of Canada’s affordability crisis. The soaring inflation and rising cost of living a $100,000 salary doesn’t guarantee financial security in many parts of the country.

Also, to maintain the $100,000 threshold today, the province should have adjusted it to $55,381.73 in 1996. Ontario has fixed a threshold of $100,000, while the threshold varies in other provinces. Alberta, for example, has set a threshold of $125,888 for government employees and $150,219 for people in public sector bodies.

Not much information is available for the federal government, but a Canadian Taxpayers Federation access-to-information request revealed that 110,593 employees in the federal public service earned $100,000 or more in 2023.

There are a couple of options for Ontario and other governments with non-indexing disclosure requirements. Resetting the threshold to a number that makes more sense today and then continuing to index the threshold going forward seems feasible.

We also don’t need to reveal the names of all individuals. The government could report aggregated salary ranges by job title rather than disclosing specific names below a second, lower threshold. This would maintain government accountability and transparency by still disclosing who the highest earners are.

As it stands, we have a list that publishes the names and salaries of potentially hundreds of thousands of people who could not afford to buy a house. This doesn’t seem aligned with the original intent of the disclosure act.

Some features of the Ontario Sunshine List 2024 are as follows:

  • The highest paid employee took a pay check of $1.9M
  • Public sector employees were paid salaries in excess of $100K
  • The Ontario Sunset list top position is held by Kenneth Hartwick, CEO of the electricity Crown Corporation with a salary of $1.93 million followed by chief strategy officer Dominique Miniere $1.2 million and chief projects officer Michael Martelli drawing $1 million as salary.
  • Public sector workers were paid counting in Bill 124 compensation
  • 2024 budget revealed that Ontario deficit will triple
  • CEOs of the Hospital for Sick Children and the University Health Network figured in the top 10 list and each drew a salary of $850,000 each while CEO of the provincial transit agency, Metrolinx drew a salary of $838,097.
  • 17 professors or associate professors at the University of Toronto drew a salary in excess of $500,000

Caroline Mulroney, president of the Treasury Board, stated in a release,

“The largest year-over-year increases were in the hospitals, municipalities, and services, and post-secondary sectors, which together represented approximately 80 percent of the growth of the list.”

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Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair: With a decade of news writing across various media platforms, Manoj is a seasoned professional. His dual role as an English teacher underscores his command over communication. He adeptly covers Politics, Technology, Crypto, and more, reflecting a broad and insightful perspective that engages and informs diverse audiences.

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