"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." #onpoli#PCPOLdr
The CBC reports this morning (Saturday 24 March 2018) that the number of people on the City Hall payroll who joined the Sunshine list when Doug Ford was a Toronto councillor more than doubled. I burst out laughing!
When I listen to Doug Ford I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
A reporter asks if the $100,000 threshold should be raised as it is capturing more and more people, not just those on the very highest incomes. He side-steps the question saying it is not about the people getting $100,000 it’s about the millionaires and the fat cats. So why not lift the threshold?
- The $100,000 salary threshold for disclosure has not changed since the legislation came into force in 1996 and there has been no uprating since for inflation.
- If the salary threshold were adjusted for inflation, it would be $151,929 in today's dollars, reducing the number of people on the list by 85%
- The $100,000 figure represents total pay — salary plus any bonuses or overtime — but not benefits. Taxable benefits are reported on a separate line.
Laughing all the way to the Bank
Now I'm looking at the figures for Newmarket Mayor, Tony Van Trappist, who appears in the Sunshine List with a salary of $120,393.14 plus taxable benefits of $7,656.20. Now I am gently chortling. If you believe that you believe in the tooth fairy.
Then the thought occurs... in fact, the old banker has been laughing at us for years!
Van Trappist's Newmarket salary comes one-third tax free so he declares $63,000 to the CRA rather than $95,000 and then adds the $56,000 he gets for sitting on York Regional Council and he gets his Sunshine salary of $120,000 (My figures are approximates. The Town has not yet formally released its remuneration report for 2017 - due by 31 March 2018.)
The wily old banker excludes the $11,000 he gets for sitting on the Hydro Board (which comes with the job of Mayor) because he is not paid by the Town directly but by Newmarket-Tay Hydro. You've gotta laugh!
In his own defence, the old banker would say the Public Sector Disclosure Act only requires income to be reported as it is for Income Tax purposes - box 14 on a T4. So, no need to draw attention to the one-third tax free nor the little number from the Hydro!
The $56,000 from York Region is included in the Sunshine calculations because it paid by the Town and reimbursed by the Region. So why can't the old banker's $11,000 from the Hydro (excluded from the Sunshine calculations) be paid by the Town and be similarly reimbursed by the Hydro?
Van Trappist's 2017 salary plus benefits to be revealed next week
Van Trappist's true salary is $95,000 + $55,000 + $11,000 = $161,000 plus all the various allowances and benefits and bits and pieces.
That said, $161,000 is not a King's ransom these days. Half the police officers in Toronto probably get that. They are almost all on the Sunshine List.
Calculating how much the Mayor gets is not straightforward.
The real issue is whether we are getting value for our money.
That's the kind of thing Doug Ford would say.
Update on 27 March 2018: Visit https://www.notdoug.com and keep up-to-date on what the great man is doing.
Note: During Ford's term as a Toronto city councillor and key adviser to his brother, late former mayor Rob Ford, the number of city employees on the Sunshine List jumped from 5,415 in 2010 to 11,282 in 2014.