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by Suzanne Gammon
The year 2018 was a sunny one for some West Nipissing public servants, according to the Ontario Ministry of Finance’s annual Public Sector Salary Disclosure or “Sunshine list”, which was published on March 27. Once again, the community has several employees listed among those having earned over $100,000 in 2018.
While the list keeps ballooning every year, critics say that reflects the fact that the $100,000 benchmark has not increased in over 20 years, while salaries have risen to keep up with inflation. It has been argued that the $100,000 figure 20 years ago is equivalent to over $151,000 today, and some have suggested the disclosure should apply to salaries above that amount only. Still, the Ontario government has so far refused to raise the threshold, saying the list offers a way to compare public sector earnings with private sector wages.
Municipality of West Nipissing
The municipality has 33 employees on the list, up from 30 last year and 27 in 2016, though the WN Police Service accounts for 21 of them, compared to 22 last year.
Among the seven administrative staff on the list, Chief Administrative Officer Jay Barbeau earned $154,185 plus $5,841 in benefits, slightly down from his $156,115 plus $5,831 in 2017. Director of Community Services and Economic Development Stephan Poulin took home $126,462 plus $5,841, up from $123,513 plus $5,831 in 2017 and $115,683 in 2016. Alisa Craddock, Director of Corporate Services/Treasurer, earned $132,672 plus $541, down from $135,107 plus $531 in 2017 and compared to $112,791 in 2016.
Manager of Water and Wastewater Peter Ming made $103,616 plus $5,843, up slightly from $102,011 plus $5,831 in 2017. Manager of Public Works, Distribution and Collection Shawn Remillard was paid $115,081 plus $541, compared to $107,270 plus $531 the previous year.
New to the list are Information Technology Manager Kevin Yarosh at $105,164 plus $541; and Municipal Clerk/Planner Melanie Ducharme at $105,561 plus $2,791.
WN Police Service
The WN Police Service’s number of ‘sunshiners’ shrunk by one, with former Chief Chuck Seguin absent from the list, and former Inspector Ray St. Pierre taking on the role of Chief with the Inspector’s position remaining vacant.
While Seguin led the last municipal earners’ list with $178,093 plus $6,664 in 2017, St. Pierre took home $148,844 plus $676 in 2018, just about $4,500 more than he earned as an Inspector in 2017. By comparison, North Bay’s police chief, Shawn Devine brought in $210,942.
Sergeant Miguel Aubertin took home $136,837, down from $138,148 in 2017. Sergeant Nathalie Rifou earned $142,021, up from $140,466 in 2017. Sergeant Paul Brunet received $125,575, down from $127,364 the previous year. Sergeant Cory Duhaime earned $121,918, up from $120,127 in 2017. Other officers on the list include 16 First Class Constables: Juliette Birkland at $123,270; Patrick Raiville at $115,127; Serge Sicard at $117,096; Martin Vézina at $115,130; Michel Renaud at $124,500; François Savage at $119,446; Richard Savard at $129,575; Michel Leblanc at $102,524; Pierre Mantha at $129,616; Denis Marleau at $119,798; Ken Paquette at $129,449; Michel Paquette at $119,345; Steven Bradley at $125,710; Trystan Gagné at $112,068; Patrick Gladu at $107,932; and Shawn Aubin at $112,298.
WN Fire Protection
The West Nipissing Fire Service accounted for the other five municipal employees on the list, up from three last year. Chief Richard Maranda earned $119,371 plus $1,793 in benefits, down slightly from $120,860 plus $1,757 in 2017. By comparison, North Bay Fire Chief Jason Whitely made $149,344.
Michel Desormiers, Assistant Fire Chief, earned $123,343 plus $1,793, a nearly $10,000 jump from his $113,487 plus $1,663 in 2017. Gilles Imbeau, Fire Prevention, Training and Public Education Officer, took home $110,860 plus $1,665, slightly more than his $109,040 plus $1,608 in 2017 but less than the $114,813 he made in 2016.
New to the list are Third Class Firefighter Daniel Renaud at $104,723 plus $1,433, and First Class Firefighter Pascal Morin at $116,021 plus $1,466.
Sudbury East municipalities
A single employee of the Municipality of French River appears on this year’s list : Chief Administrative Officer Marc Gagnon who earned $130,930 in 2018. The Municipality of Markstay-Warren and the Municipality of St-Charles have no employees listed.
WN General Hospital
The West Nipissing General Hospital had 12 employees on the list this year, up from 8 the previous year. President and Chief Executive Officer Cynthia Desormiers earned $200,989 plus $1,289 in benefits, compared to $198,128 plus $1,245 in 2017.