Astounding increase in the salaries of Canadian CEOs

The highest paid Canadian business executives saw a 25% increase in their salaries in 2013, in comparison with 2008. Their salaries increased twice as much as those of average employees, for the same period. This is what a study published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives at the beginning of January shows.


In 2013, the hundred highest paid CEOs in Canada earned an average of $9.2 million, 25% more than in 2008. This is according to the report created by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives from data relating to the executives of 240 publicly traded Canadian companies, including salary, bonuses, transfer of shares and stock options. Such an exponential change in salary threshold hasn't been seen since 2007, just before the crisis.


Canadians, on the other hand, only saw a 12% increase in their average annual salary, reaching $47,358, for the same period. The study therefore reveals that the highest paid Canadian bosses earned 195 times more than the average Canadian. The gap is even more significant with regards to women; the highest paid female bosses in 2013 earned 237 times more than the average female employee. The report also shows that on the second day of 2013, January 2, the highest paid CEOs had earned more in one day than the average Canadian earns in a year.


$87.9 million for the highest paid CEO


Gerald Schwartz, Investment Funds Manager at Onex, ranks at the top of the highest paid CEOs, with a salary of $87.9 million in 2013. Nadir Mohamed, Director of Rogers Communications, takes second place with $26.8 million. The head of Agrium fertilizers comes in third with $23.8 million. The head of Canadian Energy Services & Technology, Thomas Simons, ranks last, earning "just" $4.1 million. The person in last place in the 2013 ranking, however, earned 30% more than the person in last place in 2008, who earned $3.8 million.


The author of the report, Hugh Mackenzie, questions what justifies such an increase when the responsibilities of the Canadian bosses have changed very little over these past decades; especially since the country is still in an economic recession. Additionally, an exponential rise in salary for CEOs could encourage them to focus more on the short-term benefits of their organization rather than on their good health. The study recommends looking more closely at the problem caused by uncontrolled salaries of Canadian executives and introducing a tax system that includes more marginal tax rates.

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