Lists & Rankings

How long it takes Canadian CEOs to make as much as most of us do in a year

A few days, in most cases

Updated for 2017! Top 100 Rankings by Year: 2017 2016 2015 2014

Lots of people are talking about a study put out this morning by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives about how the average Canadian CEO will earn as much by lunchtime today as the average Canadian does in a year. Now, you may or may not find that to be a persuasive argument about the state of income inequality in Canada — as our own Chris MacDonald has pointed out, determining the fairness of CEO pay is more complicated than it seems. But it did include some interesting data that we can slice a little more finely.

In the table below you can see the 100 most highly-paid CEOs in Canada, their company, and their total compensation (the CCPA includes everything from bonuses to stock options to pensions; in most cases such non-salary pay makes up a large majority of their overall compensation). Instead of just knowing how long it takes the average CEO to make the same amount that the average Canadian makes ($46,634), the right-hand column shows exactly how many hours or days it will take that CEO to make that amount.

CP’s Hunter Harrison, for instance, the country’s highest-paid CEO, got there in just two hours this morning. (The CCPA study counts January 1 as a work day; I’m assuming these CEOs have enough seniority that they don’t have to come in on a statutory holiday, and started work this morning with the rest of us.) Al Monaco (#10) of Enbridge, however, won’t get there until he punches out at 5 p.m. this afternoon. Some won’t even get there this week; Loblaw CEO Galen Weston (#86) will have to wait until Monday afternoon’s coffee break, and Lino Saputo Jr. will be the last of the hundred to cross the line on Tuesday morning. (A few caveats here: the CCPA uses 2012 figures, and some of the CEOs named no longer hold their position with the company.)

CEO Company Total
No. Hours to make
Canadian Avg.
E. Hunter Harrison Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. $49,151,065 1.97
James C. Smith Thomson Reuters Corp. $18,805,050 5.16
John A. Manzoni Talisman Energy Inc. $18,670,958 5.20
Paul N. Wright Eldorado Gold Corp. $18,661,940 5.20
Donald J. Walker Magna International Inc. $16,851,051 5.76
Mark Barrenechea OpenText Corp. $14,816,457 6.55
Gordon M. Nixon Royal Bank of Canada $13,731,877 7.06
Gerald W. Schwartz Onex Corp. $13,296,276 7.30
Mark Thierer Catamaran Corp $12,892,389 7.52
Al Monaco Enbridge Inc. $12,166,472 7.97
One Work Day
Peter Marrone Yamana Gold Inc. $12,075,108 8.03
Steven W. Williams Suncor Energy Inc. $11,883,935 8.16
Jamie C. Sokalsky Barrick Gold Corp. $11,361,218 8.54
Michael M. Wilson Agrium Inc. $11,163,061 8.69
Richard E. Waugh The Bank of Nova Scotia $11,101,196 8.74
George A. Cope BCE Inc. $11,092,836 8.74
Darren Entwistle Telus Corp. $11,035,860 8.79
William J. Doyle Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. $10,972,598 8.84
Edmund Clark Toronto-Dominion Bank $10,884,239 8.91
Brian C. Ferguson Cenovus Energy Inc. $10,878,678 8.92
Donald Guloien Manulife Financial Corp. $10,445,702 9.29
Donald R. Lindsay Teck Resources Ltd. $10,247,327 9.47
Thorsten Heins Research in Motion Ltd. $10,154,199 9.55
R. Jeffrey Orr Power Financial Corp. $10,077,501 9.63
Gerald T. McCaughey Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce $9,931,000 9.77
William A. Downe Bank of Montreal $9,600,553 10.10
Sean Boyd Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. $9,509,460 10.20
Charles A. Jeannes Goldcorp Inc. $9,382,291 10.34
J. R. Shaw Shaw Communications Inc. $8,856,592 10.95
Gregory Lang Novagold Resources Inc. $8,708,164 11.14
Russell Girling TransCanada Corp. $8,679,314 11.18
Pierre Karl Péladeau Quebecor Inc. $8,282,487 11.71
Nadir Mohamed Rogers Communications Inc. $8,208,990 11.82
Patrick D. Daniel Enbridge Inc. $8,053,319 12.04
Dean A. Connor Sun Life Financial Inc. $7,970,689 12.17
Claude Mongeau Canadian National Railway Co. $7,959,505 12.19
Asim Ghosh Husky Energy Inc. $7,856,639 12.35
Louis Vachon National Bank of Canada $7,677,015 12.63
Steve W. Laut Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. $7,464,632 12.99
Frank Hasenfratz Linamar Corp. $7,293,030 13.30
Peter Meredith Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. $7,259,290 13.36
Randall K. Eresman Encana Corp. $7,237,539 13.40
Alain Bouchard Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. $7,222,869 13.43
Bradley Shaw Shaw Communications Inc. $7,182,427 13.51
Linda Hasenfratz Linamar Corp. $7,019,163 13.82
Bruce Aitken Methanex Corp. $7,001,755 13.85
Stephen G. Wetmore Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. $6,973,125 13.91
Alain Bédard TransForce Inc. $6,915,994 14.03
Robert Dutton RONA Inc. $6,872,330 14.11
Harold N. Kvisle Talisman Energy Inc. $6,560,418 14.79
Robert G. Card SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. $6,430,758 15.08
John P. Dielwart ARC Resources Ltd. $6,164,802 15.73
Paviter S. Binning George Weston Ltd. $6,162,402 15.74
J. Michael Pearson Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. $6,111,263 15.87
Two Work Days
Bruce H. March Imperial Oil Ltd. $6,023,996 16.10
Pierre Beaudoin Bombardier Inc. $5,978,526 16.22
Domenic Pilla Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. $5,966,041 16.26
H. Stanley Marshall Fortis Inc. $5,958,603 16.28
J. Paul Rollinson Kinross Gold Corp. $5,953,410 16.29
André Desmarais Power Corp. of Canada $5,770,276 16.81
Edward Sonshine Riocan REIT $5,739,804 16.90
Craig H. Muhlhauser Celestica Inc. $5,732,435 16.92
Paul Desmarais, Jr. Power Corp. of Canada $5,676,484 17.09
Dawn L. Farrell TransAlta Corp. $5,658,940 17.14
Michael Roach CGI Group Inc. $5,637,421 17.21
Scott Saxberg Crescent Point Energy Corp. $5,584,466 17.37
James H.T. Riddell Trilogy Energy Corp. $5,382,310 18.02
William P. Buckley ShawCor Ltd. $5,192,076 18.68
Edward S. Kennedy The North West Company Inc. $5,151,764 18.83
J. Bruce Flatt Brookfield Asset Management Inc. $5,016,504 19.34
Vincente Trius Loblaw Companies Ltd. $5,001,442 19.39
Ronald Pantin Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. $4,935,078 19.65
Serafino Iacono Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. $4,935,078 19.65
Miguel de la Campa Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. $4,935,078 19.65
Jose Francisco Arata Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. $4,877,331 19.89
Michael T. Waites Finning International Inc. $4,853,792 19.98
Edward S. Sampson Niko Resources Ltd. $4,820,511 20.12
Tim Gitzel Cameco Corp. $4,772,534 20.32
John M. Cassaday Corus Entertainment Inc. $4,741,232 20.46
Ian Greenberg Astral Media Inc. $4,649,600 20.86
Charles Brindamour Intact Financial Corp. $4,623,509 20.98
David Fesyk Inter Pipeline Fund $4,603,078 21.07
Ned Goodman Dundee Corp. $4,514,966 21.48
Pierre J. Blouin Manitoba Telecom. Services $4,513,541 21.49
D. Allen Loney Great-West Lifeco Inc. $4,485,386 21.63
Galen G. Weston Loblaw Companies Ltd. $4,476,933 21.67
James Riddell Paramount Resources $4,380,225 22.14
Nancy C. Southern ATCO Ltd. $4,339,241 22.35
Rupert Duchesne Aimia Inc. $4,309,122 22.51
Robert A. Gannicott Dominion Diamond Corp. $4,307,570 22.52
Michael J. Cooper Dundee Realty Corp $4,164,496 23.29
Joseph D. Quarin Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. $4,056,181 23.91
Three Work Days
Benoit La Salle Semafo Inc. $3,998,223 24.26
Randy V.J. Smallwood Silver Wheaton Corp. $3,994,638 24.28
Ellis Jacob Cineplex Inc. $3,942,389 24.60
Paul D. House Tim Hortons Inc. $3,921,073 24.74
Kevin A. Neveu Precision Drilling Corp. $3,896,225 24.90
Marcel R. Coutu Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. $3,884,155 24.97
Gerald S. Panneton Detour Gold Corp. $3,859,521 25.13
Lino A. Saputo Jr. Saputo Inc. $3,850,000 25.19

Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives