Imagine that you already made a year’s salary in the first two days of this year. Such is the pay of Canada’s highest paid CEOs.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released a report entitled Glory Days: CEO Pay in Canada Soaring to Pre-Recession Highs. It includes a list of the country’s 100 highest paid CEOs in 2013.
Here’s the top 10:
1. Gerald W. Schwartz, Onex Corporation: $1,339,611 base salary ($87,917,026 total compensation)
2. Nadir Mohamed, Rogers Communications Inc.: $1,130,769 ($26,769,973)
3. Michael M. Wilson, Agrium Inc.: $1,507,200 ($23,818,740)
4. Donald J. Walker, Magna International Inc.: $334,903 ($19,557,600)
5. Steven K. Hudson (partial year), Element Financial Corp: $660,000 ($18,865,028)
6. JR Shaw (Exec Chair), Shaw Communications, Inc.: $1,500,000 ($17,380,532)
7. Robert Dépatie (partial year), Quebecor Inc: $1,200,000 ($14,821,147)
8. Gordon M. Nixon, Royal Bank of Canada: $1,500,000 ($14,038,877)
9. Doug Suttles, Encana Corporation: $562,830 ($13,774,095)
10. Paul Colborne, Surge Energy Inc: N/A ($13,675,941)
What follows are 10 highlights from the rest of the top 100:
15. Bradley Shaw (CEO), Shaw Communications, Inc.: $2,500,000 ($12,426,854)
23. Charles A. Jeannes, Goldcorp Inc.: $1,500,880 ($10,200,414)
24. Darren Entwistle, TELUS Corporation: $1,375,000 ($710,127,702)
33. Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry Limited: $999,973 ($9,056,012)
36. Russell Girling, TransCanada Corp.: $1,300,008 ($8,700,009)
49. Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada: $1,400,000 ($7,817,369)
53. Pierre Karl Péladeau (partial year), Quebecor Inc: $1,083,333 ($7,428,136)
72. Robert G. Card, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.: $934,622 ($5,629,590)
75. Al Monaco, Enbridge Inc.: $1,030,000 ($5,441,495)
91. Galen G. Weston (Exec. Chair), Loblaw Companies Limited: $1,000,000 ($4,721,872)
By the way, total compensation includes base salary, bonus, shares, options, pension, and other pay.
The CCPA report, authored by Hugh Mackenzie, argues that tax reform is a solution to the “problem of runaway CEO pay":
If we, as a society, have concluded that excessive pay is unacceptable, we should be able to claw back a greater portion of it.
Corporations could continue to pay their executives whatever they wanted to. They’d just face a limit on what they could deduct for tax purposes. And executives would still have that all-important measuring stick indicating what they are “worth.” The public will have made a clear statement of its view on excessive compensation practices. The impact of excessive pay on income inequality will be moderated. And the public will benefit from the public services that can be funded with this newly generated fiscal capacity.
Even without taking the step of raising taxes for well-compensated CEOs, Canada would benefit from ending the public subsidy inherent in the tax loophole that allows executives to pay half the income tax rate on the proceeds from cashing in stock options by claiming that revenue as capital gains. As calculated above, the stock options held by the highest paid 100 CEOs in 2013 stood to benefit from a tax break worth more than half a billion dollars.
You can find out more in the full report.