Ornge execs not included on sunshine list
Ontario released its sunshine list of public sector employees who make more than $100,000 a year on Friday, and while the document is much longer than in past years, it also contains a few glaring omissions.
The top executives of scandal-plagued air ambulance service Ornge, including former chief executive Chris Mazza, are nowhere to be seen on the list. The Ministry of Health says it's because the private side-companies created by the top brass at Ornge shielded them from the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, and that it's working to compile a list regardless.
"Ornge has agreed to reach out to all individuals who have made over $100,000 in 2011 to get their permission to post their salaries on Ornge's website and that work is ongoing," said Zita Astravas, press secretary for Health Minister Deb Matthews in an email on Friday.
"Going forward, all employees at Ornge will be subject to the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act and will appear on the Sunshine List."
Mazza made $1.4 million before he was fired in January following a scandal at the air ambulance service. The organization's finances are being investigated by police for "irregularities," and the provincial government has promised to provide more transparency into Ornge's dealings in the future.
In a report that came out earlier this week, the province's auditor general slammed the high salaries of the organization's former executives and directors. But they're not the only one making a decent wage at the air ambulance service. About 135 other staff at Ornge are on the list of over-$100,000 earners, including several paramedics.
Ontario Power Generation CEO Tom Mitchell was once again the best-paid public employee in Ontario, making $1.8 million in 2011 including his salary and benefits. Mitchell's job includes overseeing 12,000 employees, two nuclear power plants and much of the electricity production and delivery in the province.
About 7,700 OPG workers earned more than $100,000 in 2011, making up the largest group of workers from a single organization on the sunshine list.
Bonuses, pensions and other non-taxable benefits aren't included in the salaries on the list, meaning most of those listed get additional financial benefits that don't have to be reported.
There are 78, 901 names on the 2011 list, about 7,300 more than the previous year, an increase of about 10 per cent.
Others on the list include police officers, hospital employees, city workers and of course, direct government employees.
Following the list's release, Conservative MPP Jim Wilson held a news conference urging the premier to freeze government workers' salaries immediately.
With files from The Canadian Press and a report by CTV Toronto's Paul Bliss