Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shines a light on sky-high Canadian CEO pay

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      For the 11th straight year, a left-of-centre think tank has revealed the chasm between CEO pay and what the average worker earns.

      According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the 100 highest paid chief executives of TSX-listed companies collected, on average, $10.4 million in 2016.

      That's 209 times the average Canadian worker's income of $49,738.

      The gap has grown from 2015 when these CEOs were paid 193 times more than the average worker.

      In B.C., a person collecting the minimum wage would have to work 1.4 months to earn the same amount as Canada's highest-paid CEO, Valeant Pharmaceuticals' Joseph Papa, was paid in one hour last year.

      Papa collected $83.1 million last year, with $55.7 million of that coming from share-based compensation.

      The next highest-paid CEO was Magna International's Donald Walker, who was paid $28.6 million through various forms of compensation.

      The highest-paid CEO of a B.C.-based company was MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates' former boss, Daniel Friedmann, who ended up with $21.4 million. He ranked fourth on the list for Canada.

      In an interview with the Globe and Mail last year, Friedmann expressed pride in overseeing 80 consecutive profitable quarters over a 20-year period.

      "Having a steady, profitable, diversified business is an amazing challenge, and I think that's the biggest accomplishment," Friedmann said.

      "In 2016, average worker pay rose by 0.5%—a $228 bump from $49,510 to $49,738—meaning in real terms the average income has fallen once inflation is taken into account," the CCPA stated. "Canada's top 100 CEOs, on the other hand, saw an average pay hike of 8%—from $9.6 million in 2015 to $10.4 million in 2016."

      Last year marked the first time that the average pay of this group of 100 CEOs exceeded $10 million.

      Read the full report here.