Hospital Association Head Defends CEO Salaries

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First Posted: 01/ 4/2012 8:53 am Updated: 01/ 5/2012 11:36 am


The head of the Ontario Hospital Association says a cap on the salaries of hospital CEOs could impair their ability to attract top administrators.


Tom Closson made the comments Wednesday in an interview on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, hosted by Matt Galloway.


“This province has a $16-billion deficit,” said Closson. “We need the best leaders we can get.”


This week the OHA advised hospitals to make public the contracts of their CEOs. Many of the hospitals posted the entire contracts of their executives online. CBC News has posted links to many of those contracts here.


The salaries of hospital CEOs have long been public information, disclosed each year on the province’s so-called sunshine list. But this week’s disclosure went further, outlining such perks as generous car allowances, money for golf club memberships and benefits for cosmetic plastic surgery.


Those perks come on top of annual salaries that range from $300,000 to $800,000.


NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has suggested hospital CEO salaries be capped at $418,000, which is twice the salary of the premier.


Salary cap is 'pretty arbitrary'


Closson, however, said the high salaries are needed to attract and retain top hospital administrators.


“The NDP suggestion is pretty arbitrary and certainly it’s political,” he said. “The savings you would make from capping CEO salaries is $3.7 million, we spend $23 billion in hospitals in this province. You’d likely not be able to attract the same calibre of people to go into the CEO stream in this province.”


“The more important question is: what value do we get from spending the money on leaders? We feel very strongly that you have to have good leaders if you want to make the system work better.”


Closson also said hospital administrators in the United States often earn much more than their Canadian counterparts.


THE 10 HIGHEST-PAID CEOs IN CANADA
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  • 10: Jonathan Henry, Gabriel Resources $11.7M

    Gabriel Resources is a Toronto-based company focused primarily on a gold excavation project in Romania. <i>Note: An earlier version of this gallery reported that Gabriel Resources' 2010 revenue was $448 million. <a href="http://globeinvestor.sympatico.ca/invest/investSQL/sym.company_prof?company_id=160018" target="_hplink">It was, in fact, $448,000, according to publicly listed data</a>. A company spokesperson says the resource firm was in a period of pre-production in 2010, and did not generate revenue. Thus, Henry's compensation of $11.7 million exceeded the company's revenues for the year.</i>

  • 9: Gordon Nixon, RBC $11.9M

    Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is the largest financial institution in the country. Henry's total pay of $11.9 million was the equivalent of 0.1 per cent of the company's $10.3 billion in 2010 revenues.

  • 8: Stephen DeFalco, Nordion $13.1M

    Nordion is an Ottawa-based health sciences company that specializes in medical isotopes. DeFalco's total pay of $13.1 million was the equivalent of 5.1 per cent of the company's $256 million in 2010 revenues. DeFalco left the CEO position in 2010.

  • 7: Steve Laut, Canadian Natural Resources $13.1M

    Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. is a Calgary-based oil and gas exploration company. Laut's total pay of $13.1 million was the equivalent of 0.08 per cent of the company's $14.6 billion in 2010 revenues.

  • 6: Richard Waugh, Scotiabank $13.8M

    The Bank of Nova Scotia is the third largest bank in Canada. Waugh's total pay of $13.8 million was the equivalent of 0.06 per cent of the company's $23.8 billion in 2010 revenues.

  • 5: Martyn Konig, European Goldfields $14.8M

    Despite its name, European Goldfields in a Canadian-based company, operating out of the Northwest Territories. Konig's total pay of $14.8 million was the equivalent of 29.1 per cent of the company's $50.7 million in 2010 revenues.

  • 4: Edward Sampson, Niko Resources $16.5M

    Niko Resources is a Calgary-based oil and gas exploration company operating fields mostly outside Canada. Sampson's total pay of $16.5 million was the equivalent of 3.6 per cent of the company's $455 million in 2010 revenues.

  • 3: Siegfried Wolf, Co-CEO, Magna $16.5M

    Southern Ontario-based Magna International is North America's largest car parts manufacturer. Wolf's total pay of $16.5 million was the equivalent of 0.07 per cent of the company's $24.2 billion in 2010 revenues. Wolf stepped down as co-CEO in 2010.

  • 2: Donald Walker, Co-CEO, Magna $16.7M

    Southern Ontario-based Magna International is North America's largest car parts manufacturer. Walker's total pay of $16.7 million was the equivalent of 0.07 per cent of the company's $24.2 billion in 2010 revenues.

  • Frank Stronach, Magna $61.8M

    Southern Ontario-based Magna International is North America's largest car parts manufacturer. Stronach's total pay of $61.8 million was the equivalent of 0.26 per cent of the company's $24.2 billion in 2010 revenues.

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Filed by Michael Bolen  |