Another year, another Sunshine List.
The yearly data dump, a list of all Ontario public sector employees making $100,000 or more per year, entered its 20th year and hit a new record, growing to 123,410 names.
Topping the list was Jeff Lyash, CEO of Ontario Power Generation, with a combined salary and taxable benefits clocking in at $1,165,701.85, one of only two people on it earning more than a million dollars.
Below is a short breakdown of the data, and the full, searchable database.
$100,000 is a lot of money, but it's worth a lot less than it was in the 1990s. When the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act was introduced in 1996, it legislated the Sunshine List into existence and set a $100,000 threshold on public salaries. That threshold has not changed since, and it has contributed to the ballooning of the list as the relative value of the loonie has changed with inflation. According to the Bank of Canada's inflation calculator, $100,000 in 1996 was worth $144,267.88 in 2016, a 44 per cent growth over the 20-year period. If the Sunshine List's threshold grew with inflation, the total number of employees would be dramatically smaller: Only 22,794 of the 123,410 on the 2016 list would have made the cut. But don't expect a change any time soon. "One-hundred-thousand dollars is still a lot of money and so we're going to keep it at that level," said Premier Kathleen Wynne earlier this week when asked if the 2016 list would account for inflation.
There's little change at the top of this year's list and the top three employers enjoy a considerable lead over everyone else. Ontario Power Generation, Community Safety and Correctional Services and Toronto Police Service have 18,716 employees on it, which works out to be 15 per cent of this year's 123,572 total. City staff in Ottawa and Toronto make the top 10 with a total of 6,066 staff, and both the University of Toronto and York University have solid representation with 3,551 and 1,655, respectively.
Forget urging your kids to grow up to be doctors, lawyers, or scientists. Forward-thinking parents will encourage their children to aim squarely for Ontario Power Generation, which continues as the top Sunshine List employer. Total compensation for 2016 came in at a whopping $1,115,975,030.05 shared among 7,730 employees. From the CEO down through managers, supervisors, and technicians – OPG is the place to be.
2016 was a good year to be a Michael. The name appeared 2,265 times this year, making it the Sunshine List's most common first name overall, followed closely by David, John, and Robert.