Citizen’s Ledger: Thunder Bay Can’t Afford Sunshine List

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Even sunflowers need rain
Even sunflowers need rain

By Ray Smith
Thunder Bay – CITIZEN’S LEDGER – The 2021 Sunshine list is out again and the results show Thunder Bay is at the top of the list for most city workers per capita making in excess of $100,000 dollars in the province.
In fact the average salary for Thunder Bay’s 559 city employees is  $127,012 dollars.
The sum of all these salaries is $71 million dollars.
City manager Norm Gale’s salary of $265,759 is also one of the most generous in the province per capita for a CAO of a municipality and is in the top 1% of all those individuals in Canada who earn in excess of $250,000  thousand dollars.
In comparison to 12 other cities in the province with populations closer to  Thunder Bay the results showed that we had more than double their average  of 269 on the sunshine list and we paid out $43 million dollars more to support our 559 employees.
Thunder Bay is paying out  an average of between $4,000 to 6,000 thousand dollars more  to those employees on its sunshine list compared to the other 12 cities.  Norm Gale’s salary was approximately $19 thousand more than the average in this survey.
With salaries and wages accounting for the biggest part of our operating budgets it is no wonder Thunder Bay has the second highest taxes in the province. of Ontario. Combined with the economic uncertainty fueled by the pandemic now is not the time for another ambitious and risky infrastructure project such as the proposed indoor turf spectator facility.
It is the time however  for management to set an example and freeze their salaries that combined total over 10.5 million dollars. In addition positions need to be eliminated through attrition as the present status quo is not sustainable.
Ray Smith

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