Two aides of former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne received over $450,000 from the taxpayer in severance packages just days after their electoral defeat in 2018.
Andrew Bevan, Wynne’s chief of staff, and Mary Rowe, her executive advisor, agreed to “enhanced termination payments” a week after Wynne’s government was decimated in the provincial election on June 7, 2018.
The two remained on government payroll until October 19, 2018, long after their employment was officially terminated on June 29.
In the period after the election but before the transition of power, the Ontario Liberal Cabinet gave Bevan $247,756 and give Rowe $204,497. The total severances for the two was $452,253.
Bevan worked for the premier’s office for five years, Rowe only worked there for less than two years.
“These recommendations were based on previous practices by governments of all stripes. Termination packages were then decided on by cabinet,” Bevan said.
This is not the first time the Bevan and Rowe were in the news for their income.
Bevan and Rowe were both on the “sunshine list,” consisting of bureaucrats that earn over $100,000. In March, True North reported that their combined salary was nearly $1 million in 2018.
Not only were these two highly paid, between 2017 and 2018 the Ontario government gave them outrageous raises.
Bevan’s wage went from $314,000 in 2017 to $552,000 in 2018. Rowe went from $259,000 in 2017 to just over $428,000 in 2018.
When Gerald Butts had Bevan’s job in 2007, his salary was only $157,675. Although Butts’ salary as principal secretary to Justin Trudeau has not been made public, in 2017 no staffer in the PMO made more than $350,000.
Bevan was paid at least over $200,000 more than his federal counterpart did in the last full year of Wynne’s term as premier.
When Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford heard about the sunshine list, he was understandably dismayed.
“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.