TORONTO — Ontario’s Sunshine List gets bigger every year. This year, there were 131,742 public employees on the list, a mandated collection of all the provincial employees that earned more than $100,000 in 2017. That’s up from 123,410 employees in 2016.
OMAFRA was no exception to paying more. Ontario’s ag ministry paid 244 of its employees over $100,000 in 2017, 49 more than in 2016, an increase of 25 per cent. In 2015, there were 144 OMAFRA employees on the list. There were only 38 in 2010.
The ministry’s top earner was once again former Deputy Minister Deborah Stark, who made $254,099 and is now retired. She’s been the ministry’s top earner for the last four years in a row.
Ontario Power Generation President and CEO Jeffrey Lyash topped the Sunshine List, taking home $1.55 million in 2017. Hydro One CEO Mayo Schmidt used to top the sunshine list but is no longer on the list after Hydro One was privatized. In 2016, he made $4.84 million in cash and incentives.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne collected $209,000 in 2017, and OMAFRA minister Jeff Leal took home $166,000.
The list doesn’t take into account pensions, and more than 80 per cent of Ontario government employees have one, according to the Toronto Star. By factoring in pensions and benefits, incomes could be as much as 25 per cent higher than recorded.
Here are the number of $100,000-plus earners at agriculture-related ministries, agencies and universities:
• University of Guelph: 888
• Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change: 462
• Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry: 413
• Ministry of Agriculture: 244
• Agricorp: 35
• Vineland Research and Innovation Centre: 15
• OSPCA: 7
• Ontario Food Terminal Board: 3
• Soil and Crop Improvement: 4
• Animal Care Review Board: 1
• Agricultural Adaptation Council: 1
• Ontario Agri-Food Education: 1
• Ontario Agri-Food Technologies: 1
• Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission: 1
• Rural Ontario Institute: 1