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Thousands of names missing from “Sunshine List,” OPSEU’s Thomas says

TORONTO – The names of thousands of people earning high incomes from public dollars are missing from the province’s 2014 “Sunshine List,” the president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says.

“If you want a clear picture of who is making more than $100,000 a year working for government and its agencies, you really should be including the people working for private contractors,” Warren (Smokey) Thomas said today. “The government is pouring tens of billions of dollars a year into the private sector, yet the average person has no simple way to see where that money is going.

“If we care about transparency and accountability, and Ontarians do, then we need to put government contractors on the Sunshine List.”

Under the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, the government publishes the names of all provincial and municipal employees earning over $100,000 a year. Revealing the names and salaries of high-income consultants and contractors would “show how government really works in this province,” Thomas said.

“I look at the Sunshine List, and I think, why don’t we see anyone from construction companies like EllisDon or PCL?” Thomas said. “Why don’t we see any bankers from TD Securities or Scotia Capital? Why don’t we see a single corporate lawyer who’s getting rich from ‘public-private partnerships’? Why don’t we see a single executive from an information technology company, when the government is contracting out IT services as fast as it can?”

Putting government contractors on the Sunshine List would do much more than reveal the salaries of individuals, Thomas said.

“The real value of expanding the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act to include private companies and individuals is that it would draw a map of what is really an invisible part of government,” he said. “It would give Ontarians a vastly better idea of where their tax dollars are going.

“I encourage all parties at Queen’s Park to support this simple yet effective way to improve transparency around the use of public dollars.”