List of local public sector high earners grows by 20 per cent

(Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / devon.)

A doctor with the Chatham-Kent Family Health Team was the top local earner last year under Ontario’s Sunshine List.

The Sunshine List must be released by the province every year as required by law and discloses all public sector employees who made at least $100,000 in annual salary.

Dr. Vishal Chawla made $417,838 in 2020, an increase of $55,000 from 2019. Dr. Timothy Rourke with Chatham-Kent Community Health Centres was second on the list earning $358,842, a jump of $51,000 from the previous year. They are followed by Chatham-Kent Health Alliance CEO Lori Marshall at $285,000 and the municipality’s Chief Administrative Officer Don Shropshire at $259,806. Shropshire’s salary rose by $13,000.

Rounding out the top five local earners in 2020 is Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby who made $243,954. Marshall made the same salary as 2019 and Dr. Colby actually made $10,000 less than he did the previous year, despite both of them being front and centre dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many public sector employees across the province racked up plenty of overtime during the pandemic to keep Ontario safe.

In all, nine Chatham-Kent officials made more than $200,000 last year, including Police Chief Gary Conn and General Manager of Community Human Services April Rietdyk. There were a total of 518 local public sector employees on the 2020 Sunshine List compared to 420 in 2019.

The provincial government said across Ontario, hospitals, public health, and schools accounted for 75 per cent of the growth.

“We know that Ontarians are relying on their government now, more than ever, during this pandemic to keep them safe and deliver the critical services they rely on, like health care and education,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Finance. “Our government remains committed to ensuring that Ontarians have sustainable public services now and for future generations.”

The province said Registered Nurses contributed to approximately 60 per cent of the increase in the Hospitals and Boards of Public Health sector while teachers contributed to 97 per cent of the increase in the School Boards sector.

You can find the full list by clicking here.