Ontario’s sunshine list has once again let everyone know which public servants made at least six figures in the previous year. Leading off this time around are the two CEOs of Ontario’s hydroelectric utilities, OPG and Hydro One, as well as Governor General David Johnston, who pulled in a cool million as president of the University of Waterloo before he became GG (and took a substantial pay cut). One profession in particular saw a big bump in wages, and it’s not terribly surprising: police officers. The cops who worked overtime during the G20 made a tidy sum this year, with some notable Toronto cops making it on to the sunshine list.
The G20 summit may have resulted in a big burden for business, a disruption for transit and an annoyance for downtown dwellers, but it was a financial boon for some police officers. Overtime pay for policing the summit and related protests contributed to a big spike in the number of Toronto police officers who earned more than $100,000 last year.
The numbers are contained in the provincial government’s so-called sunshine list released on Thursday, which provides the names of public-sector employees who earned more than $100,000 last year: 2,159 Toronto police officers and support staff made the list, compared with 1,329 in 2009, a jump of 62 per cent. In fact, over a quarter of the Toronto Police Service’s total work force is now on the list.
Even Constable Adam Josephs – the officer who became a symbol for alleged police heavy-handedness at the summit when he was videoed threatening to arrest a young woman blowing bubbles – squeaked on, with a salary of $108,197.45.
Yup, that’s Officer Bubbles making quite a bit of money—some of which must be going toward his legal fees for suing commenters on YouTube. In some cases, the salaries of Toronto police officers have easily eclipsed the sums Toronto businesses received as compensation for the fine work the Toronto Police Service did that weekend. MP Olivia Chow says more than 400 businesses have submitted damage claims, totalling about $10 million, which is way less than the jump in overtime cost the province. Of course, the stingy reparations are coming from a different wallet (Ottawa’s) so all this is just one more chapter in Canada’s proud history of buck-passing.
The Toronto Sun was of course outraged at the spike in gold-plated civil servants taking hard-earned taxpayers’ dollars. April Fools!