The Ontario sunshine list for 2021 has revealed that Sudbury’s chief medical officer of health made $800,726 last year – the ninth-highest public-sector salary in the province, and more than twice as much as any other city’s top doctor.

Dr. Penny Sutcliffe also collected $7,629 in taxable benefits, as shown by the annual list of all provincial employees earning more than $100k.

The 244,000 employees on the sunshine list represent nearly a 20% spike from the approximately 205,000 in 2020. According to the province, 95% of that growth is in the education sector, with teachers’ salaries accounting for almost all of it (92%).

Despite Sudbury being only the sixteenth-largest city in Ontario by population, Sutcliffe’s taxpayer-funded income dramatically outshone those of Ontario’s other top doctors, including provincial chief medical health officer, Dr. Kieran Moore.

Moore appeared twice on the list, making $235,314 for his work as Ontario’s top doctor as well as another $225,709 for serving Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington before June 2021. Combined, Moore’s take of $461,023 represented less than 60% of Sutcliffe’s $0.8 million.

Among some of the province’s other government doctors, Toronto’s chief medical officer Dr. Eileen de Villa made $319,762, Ottawa’s Dr. Vera Etches took home $326,603 and Hamilton’s Dr. Elizabeth Richardson made $373,600.

Ontario Health CEO Matthew Anderson made only slightly more than Sutcliffe, with $826,000, while Kevin Smith, CEO of Toronto’s University Health Network, took in $845,092.

Four employees of Ontario Power Generation took in more than $1 million apiece, with CEO Kenneth Hartwick at the top ($1,628,246) and chief strategy officer Dominique Miniere in second place ($1,523,518).  

Other notable figures and salaries included Premier Doug Ford ($208,974), former Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly ($341,827), Toronto’s police chief James Ramer ($332,024) and Ottawa mayor Jim Watson ($188,996).

Because the federal government does not release a sunshine list, the salary of Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam remains undisclosed.

The salary of British Columbia’s Dr. Bonnie Henry is reportedly capped at $384,316.

Responding to the revelation of Sutcliffe’s enormous earnings on Friday, Public Health Sudbury put out a statement.

“Dr. Sutcliffe’s salary… includes additional hours from 2020 that were not paid out until 2021. Of Dr. Sutcliffe’s disclosure, $219,000 is related to overtime worked in 2020, but not paid until 2021 and a further $263,000 is related to overtime worked and paid in 2021.”

Last week, and one day after Ontario’s Dr. Kieran Moore had announced the province would be dropping its mask mandate on Mar. 21, Sutcliffe put out a statement urging Ontarians to continue wearing them.

“The pandemic is not over, and our area continues to have higher COVID rates compared with the province,” Sutcliffe advised. 

“With the provincial direction for the March 21 removal of masking mandates for most settings, along with the removal of screening and safety plan requirements for businesses, I am reminding people in our area that masking remains a simple and effective tool to protect yourself and those around you.”

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