Revealed: Top 10 HR leaders in Ontario's public service

'Sunshine List' for 2023 shows top HR executive made over $450,000

Revealed: Top 10 HR leaders in Ontario's public service

Ontario has released its annual “Sunshine List” of the top-paid employees in the public sector.

Based on their earnings from last year, more than 300,500 public servants made it to the esteemed list for 2023 that shows those who earned more than $100,000 — and the top 10 HR executives easily made more than $300,000.

The highest-paid HR leader for 2023 is Susan Brown, formerly executive VP of people and transformation at Sinai Health System, making $465,763 per year (she left the organization in May 2023).

Also in the top 10 list for base salary for HR executives are:

  • Curtis Brown, director of employee and labour relations at ORNGE: $419,139
  • Michele James, executive VP of people and transformation at Scarborough Health Network: $398,207
  • Susan O’Dowd, VP of HR and commercial services at the Hospital for Sick Children: $383,998
  • Donna Marafioti, interim CHRO at Ontario Health: $381,627
  • Barbara Kelly, senior VP of academic students affairs, HR, research and IT at the Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning: $377,556
  • Kelly Hannah-Moffat, VP of people strategy, equity and culture; and professor at the Centre of Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto: $375,782
  • Cynthia Domjancic, senior VP of HR at Ontario Power Generation: $373,338
  • Lisa Wilkins, CHRO and director at the Ontario Securities Commission: $344,178
  • Jane O’Brien, associate VP (HR) at the University of Western Ontario: $332,682.

The largest year-over-year increases were in the hospitals, municipalities and services, and post-secondary sectors, which together represented about 80 per cent of the growth of the list, said the Ontario government.

Top-paid employees in Ontario’s public sector

Overall, the five top-paid public employees in Ontario for 2023 all worked for the Ontario Power Generation, according to the sunshine list.

Kenneth Hartwick, president and CEO, comes out on top with earnings of more than $1.93 million in 2023. Dominique Miniere, chief strategy officer, comes in second with earnings of over $1.19 million.

The Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, 1996 requires organizations that receive public funding from the province of Ontario to make public by March 31 each year the names, positions, salaries, and total taxable benefits of employees paid $100,000 or more in the previous calendar year.

The Act applies to the provincial government, Crown agencies and corporations, Ontario Power Generation and subsidiaries, publicly funded organizations such as hospitals, municipalities, school boards, universities and colleges, and not-for-profit organizations that receive $1 million or more or receive between $120,000 and $1 million if the provincial government funding they receive is 10 per cent or more of their gross revenues.

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