Highest paid public servants, list published
On February 4, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) published a very exhaustive study aimed at reproducing, for Quebec, the “sunshine lists” that are compiled in several other provinces, such as Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan. These lists, which are intended to be an exercise in transparency, reveal the identity of all public sector employees who earned more than $100,000 in the past year. The CTF sent requests for information to more than 2,138 organizations governed by the Quebec Access to Information Act (municipalities, school boards, colleges, CISSS, etc.). Of these, 450 refused to respond, submitted incomplete responses, or simply did not follow up on the request.
According to the data collected, in Quebec, the number of government employees with an annual salary in excess of $100K is 43,469. Not surprisingly, the highest paid government employee is the CEO of Hydro-Québec, Mr. Éric Martel, who is at the top of the list with an annual salary of $559,866 (which is four times the Prime Minister’s salary, by the way).
Let us focus on the Outaouais portion of that list. It says that the City of Gatineau employs 272 people who earn more than $100,000. The chief executive officer is the winner, with an annual salary of $280,000. These salaries cost Gatineau taxpayers $30.5 million every year. The municipalities of Thurso and Chelsea each have an employee who earns more than $100,000. Cantley refrained from responding. At the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais, 11 employees earn more than $100K. At UQO, there are 204. The CISSS de l’Outaouais has 285, with the highest paid employee earning $251,000. At the Office d’habitation de l’Outaouais, 3 employees earn more than $100,000. Finally, at Investissement et Développement Gatineau, a pivotal organization that supports businesses and entrepreneurship, only one employee earns more than $100,000. In terms of school boards, Les Draveurs has 37; Portages-de-l’Outaouais, 33; Hauts-Bois-de-l’Outaouais, 13; and Western Quebec, 21. The Cégep de l’Outaouais is one of the rare college institutions that failed to respond. Same for the STO.
Proportionally speaking, compared with Longueuil, whose population size is similar to that of the City of Gatineau, the ratio of employees on the sunshine list is one in 1,000 in Gatineau, compared with 1,320 in Longueuil.
Renaud Brossard, director of the CTF in Quebec, says that “making this information public provides a better understanding of what is going on in terms of government compensation. In some cases, it makes it possible to justify certain salaries, and in others, to identify cases of waste”.
The CTF is a non-profit, non-partisan, citizen advocacy organization that fights for lower taxes, less waste and more accountability in government.