03/23/2012 01:21 EDT | Updated 03/28/2013 05:12 EDT

Ontario's 'Sunshine List' Grows By 10 Per Cent


Approximately 7,500 Ontario civil servants joined the province's $100,000 club last year, the provincial government says.

The government's so-called "sunshine list," released Friday, shows nearly 79,000 workers made six-figure salaries in 2011, an increase of 10 per cent from the previous year.

Some of the top earners are energy-sector CEOs, including Ontario Power Generation's Tom Mitchell, who pulled in $1.8 million, and Hydro One's Laura Formusa, who earned $962,000.

Although more than 100 people from Ornge air ambulance made the list, noticeably absent is deposed CEO Chris Mazza. That's because Mazza was paid through for-profit companies set up by Ornge. It's also one of the reasons why he was dismissed.

About 135 other Ornge workers, including paramedics and low-level managers, were included on the list of Ontario's top paid public sector workers in 2011.

Auditor general Jim McCarter criticized the high salaries of Ornge's former executives and directors in a scathing report released earlier this week.

Ornge's spinoff companies, which shielded it from public disclosure laws, are being wound down. But all employees at Ornge will be subject to those laws from now on, said a spokeswoman for Health Minister Deb Matthews.

Other interesting notes from the sunshine list:

- David Johnston received $610,000 from the University of Waterloo last year even though he was sworn in as Canada's Governor General in 2010.

- Toronto Police Services Chief Bill Blair earned almost $330,000

- TVO's Steve Paikin, host of The Agenda, made $295,000 in 2011.

The annual release of the sunshine list is an Ontario tradition dating back to the mid-1990s when Mike Harris's Conservative government wanted to expose top-earning civil servants.

The threshold of $100,000 hasn't changed since. If the salary criteria had grown with inflation, the government says, three quarters of the names wouldn't be on it.