Vancouver police Chief Adam Palmer appears to be the highest-paid chief constable in the country

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      As I was poking around the Vancouver Police Department website, I came across a published freedom-of-information request on executive remuneration from last March.

      It showed that Chief Adam Palmer received $378,368 in remuneration in 2021.

      That was more than $100 grand higher than the best-paid deputy police chief, Howard Chow, whose annual remuneration clocked in at $273,685.

      Last year, Palmer received nearly $56,000 more in annual compensation than the highest paid City of Vancouver employee, city manager Paul Mochrie, who received $332,616 in remuneration.

      That made me wonder how Palmer's pay package compared with other chiefs across the country.

      It turns out that Vancouver's top cop is doing extraordinarily well by that yardstick. 

      In Longueuil, Quebec, the chief, Fady Dagher, received an annual base salary of $252,000. CTV News reported that this made him the highest-paid police chief in Quebec.

      After adding in a bonus and benefits, including a car allowance, Dagher's total annual compensation is around $300,000.

      Ottawa's former police chief, Peter Sloly, collected a $341,827 salary in 2021 before resigning earlier this year in the midst of Freedom Convoy protests in the national capital.

      According to a post on the Progress Alberta website, Edmonton's police chief, Dale McFee, received a $340,000 salary last year.

      "Why did I want to know the chief’s salary?" Progress Alberta's Duncan Kinney wrote. "I’ll admit a bit of it was personal. The idea came after the chief arbitrarily revoked my media access, barred me from attending police press conferences, took me off the media list and stopped the media relations unit from answering my questions."

      Kinney noted that McFee's $340,000 salary was on "the high end of the range of police chief salaries in Canada".

      According to Kinney's research, the chief in Toronto, was paid $332,024 in 2021, whereas in Montreal, the chief collected $252,000.

      He also reported that police chiefs in Halifax, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Hamilton, and Calgary all earned between $244,000 and $296,000 last year.

      In 2020, managers at Vancouver City Hall took a pay cut during the pandemic, but neither Palmer nor two of his deputy chiefs, Steve Rai and Chow, suffered any reduction in pay.

      Palmer received a 3.15 percent increase, in fact, during the first pandemic year, with his remuneration rising from $363,216 to $374,673.

      In 2021, the Vancouver chief's pay hike was a more modest one percent.

      Earlier this year, B.C.'s director of police services, former RCMP assistant commissioner Wayne Rideout, approved the Vancouver police board's request to overturn the elected city council's funding package in 2020.

      As a result of Rideout's ruling, the City of Vancouver had to hand over an additional $5.7 million to the police board.

      "The City of Vancouver spends over $1 million per day on policing, with a budget that has increased from $317 million in 2019 to $367 million in 2022—accounting for more than 21 percent of city spending," Mayor Kennedy Stewart, who chairs the board, said after Rideout's decision.