Number of municipal employees on ‘Sunshine List’ grows by 40%

WELLINGTON COUNTY – The number of local municipal employees making over $100,000 annually rose by 40% last year.

A total of 104 employees with the county and its seven lower-tier municipalities made the list in 2020, up from 74 in 2019.

On March 19 the Ontario government released the 2020 Public Sector Salary Disclosure list, also known as the “Sunshine List”.

The top 2020 earners in Wellington County were:

  • Dr. Nicola Mercer, CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, who was paid $307,891 (down from $312,710 in 2019); and
  • Scott Wilson, CAO of Wellington County, $272,480 (up from $267,668 in 2019).

The list of local municipal employees included:

  • 20 from Centre Wellington (up from 14), with CAO Andy Goldie topping the list at $198,147;
  • four from Erin (up from two), with CAO Nathan Hyde making the most at $162,995;
  • seven from Guelph-Eramosa (up from four), with CAO Ian Roger making $165,764;
  • five from Mapleton (up from four), including CAO Manny Baron at $158,052;
  • five from Minto (up from two), with CAO Derrick Thomson at $157,038;
  • three in Puslinch (up from two), including CAO Glenn Schwendinger at $150,731;
  • four in Wellington North (up from two), with CAO Mike Givens at $149,518; and
  • 56 at the county (up from 44), with Wilson being the highest paid.

Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott, also speaker of the Legislative Assembly, was paid $152,913 in 2020.

Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece was paid $146,538 last year.

The provincial list

The Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, 1996, requires organizations that receive public funding to release, by March 31 each year, the names, positions, salaries and total taxable benefits of employees paid $100,000 or more in the previous calendar year.

“Our government’s top priority is ensuring the health and well-being of all Ontarians,” stated Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Finance, in the March 19 press release.

“We are also delivering on our promise to the people of Ontario to be transparent and accountable; respecting their tax dollars in order to deliver critical frontline services.”

The average reported salary decreased slightly in 2020 to $125,871 (from $127,396 in 2019).

Bethlenfalvy noted “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.”

Almost 75% of the growth of the 2020 provincial Sunshine List is due to increases in the hospitals, boards of public health and school boards sectors.

Registered nurses contributed to approximately 60% of the increase in the hospitals and public health sector, while teachers contributed to 97% of the increase in the school boards sector.

“The pandemic created significant demands on many parts of the public service to support Ontarians,” states a provincial press release.

“Staff in many sectors, notably health care, worked extraordinary hours to help keep Ontario safe. Pandemic-related payments, such as significant overtime hours and pandemic pay, resulted in higher incomes year-over-year for some employees, including the potential to surpass the $100,000 threshold.”

For the entire searchable 2020 list visit