According to Ontario’s 2018 “sunshine list” two top Liberal aides under the Kathleen Wynne government earned a combined salary of nearly $1 million.
Public sector employees earning more than $100,000 a year in salary are legally obligated by The Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act to list their earnings annually.
During the last year of Liberal leadership the list ballooned to over 15,000 individuals, up by approximately 2,000 since 2017.
The two aides listed this year were Wynne’s former chief of staff, Andrew Bevan and the Mary Rowe, the former Premier’s executive advisor.
Bevan, whose salary was around $314,000 by 2017, was earning over $552,000 by the next year.
Despite the hefty salary increase, Bevan’s job virtually ended when the election was called in May, which Wynne spectacularly lost to current Ontario Premier, Doug Ford. Due to the electoral defeat, the Liberals lost their party status in the province’s legislature, forcing Wynne to step aside and quit the party’s leadership.
On the other hand, Rowe was earning $259,000 in 2017 but by 2018 that figure was more than $428,000.
If converted into percentages, this would mean that Bevan received a 77% raise in one year, while Rowe got a raise of 64% on her next annual salary.
During the same period, Wynne herself was making approximately $162,000 as the Premier of Ontario in 2018, down from $209,000 the former year.
In comments on the disclosures, current NDP opposition leader, Andrea Horwath called the high salaries the “legacy” of Wynne’s government.
“I also noticed that Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals not only handed out huge salaries to those at the top — growing the gap between the rich and the rest of Ontario — but 10 out of 10 of those top salaries she was handing out also went to men. This is the legacy of 15 years of Liberal government,” said Horwath.
The current Premier, Doug Ford who promptly defeated Wynne and the Liberals on June 7, 2018 blasted the disclosures on his personal Twitter account once they were released.
“They call this the sunshine list, but for hard-working people of Ontario, there is nothing sunny about it. Liberals insiders and fat cats are getting raises while real folks in Ontario haven’t gotten a raise in years,” tweeted Ford.
In contrast, since coming into office, Conservative Premier Doug Ford has frozen the salaries of public sector executives and has implemented a hiring freeze to prevent the further bloating of Ontario’s bureaucracy.