CEO pay now 209 times more than average worker: Report

​CEOs earn average Canadian salary by 10:57 a.m. Jan. 2
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 01/09/2018
Joseph Papa
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International's CEO and chairman of the board Joseph Papa arrives for the company's AGM in Laval, Que., May 2, 2017. Papa is Canada's highest paid CEO, collecting $83,131,252 in 2016, according to a report. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

Canada’s 100 highest-paid CEOs netted 209 times more than the average worker made in 2016, according to a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

The country’s highest 100 paid CEOs on the S&P/TSX Composite index now make, on average, $10.4 million — 209 times the average income of $49,738, up from 193 times more in 2015, said the report.

“Canada’s corporate executives were among the loudest critics of a new $15 minimum wage in provinces like Ontario and Alberta,” said David Macdonald, senior economist for the CCPA. “Meanwhile, the highest paid among them were raking in record-breaking earnings.”

“CEOs are making 316 times more than someone who makes $15 an hour,” he said. “If shareholders can afford this year’s CEO pay hike, they should absolutely be endorsing higher wages at the bottom as well.” 

The five Canadian CEOs with highest total compensation in 2016, according to the CCPA, are as follows:

  • Joseph Papa, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International ($83,131,252)
  • Donald Walker, Magna International ($28,614,462)
  • Guy Laurence, Rogers Communications ($24,602,993)
  • Daniel Friedmann, MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates ($21, 427, 253)
  • Hunter Harrison, Canadian Pacific Railway ($18,829,794)

Other report highlights:

  • Average CEO pay increased eight per cent to $10.4 million, highest since the 2008 global recession.
  • CEOs earn the average Canadian annual salary ($49,738) by 10:57 a.m. on Jan. 2, the earliest ever since the CCPA has been tracking this measure.
  • The average worker will have to work full-time all year to earn that amount.
  • Three women made it in the top-100 CEO rankings in 2016, up from two in 2017.

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