ceo salary pay canada

Top Canadian CEOs are making 243x more money than you

As life becomes increasingly unaffordable for the average Canadian worker, CEOs are raking in record-breaking cash, according to a new report.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) looked into Canada's 100 highest-paid CEOs' earnings in 2021 and determined that they made 243 times more money than the rest of us at a whopping $14.3 million per annum on average. The group is also "overwhelmingly male."

In 2018, these CEOs earned 227 times more money than other Canadians. Back then, their average salary was $11.8 million per year.

CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald notes that these "all-time high" numbers in the centre's data series are attributed to peaking inflation.

"If you measure this massive pay disparity in time, less than an hour after the first working day of the year begins, Canada's highest-paid CEOs will have already made $58,800 or what it will take the average worker the entire year to make," revealed Macdonald.

"That's by 9:43 a.m. on January 3, 2023, to be precise. You could call CEO pay the breakfast of champions."

Inflation has always boosted corporate profits, leading to bigger executive bonuses. The CCPA determined that these bonuses made up the bigger portion of the highest-paid CEOs' total compensation — a startling 83 per cent.

Meanwhile, the typical Canadian is struggling to put food on the table and a roof over their head.

Some have been pushed to the point of utter hopelessness due to inflation.

"We think of inflation as bad for everyone, but for CEOs, it's the gift that keeps on giving,"

Macdonald shared. "When times are bad, like during the pandemic, CEO bonus formulas are altered to protect them; in good times, like 2021, the champagne never runs dry."

To combat this income inequality, the CCPA has proposed four policy solutions, as follows:

  1. Limiting corporate deductibility of compensation over $1 million
  2. Closing the capital gains inclusion rate loophole, used almost exclusively by the rich
  3. Implementing higher top marginal tax brackets
  4. Introducing a wealth tax

The report has left people outraged.

"At a time when more people in Canada are struggling to pay bills and have to rely on help from food banks not to go hungry, CEOs are still raking in the big bucks and that is not acceptable," said a Twitter user from Ottawa, adding that something had to change.

"Soaring CEO pay is going unchecked," says Macdonald. "Taxation can be the check we need."

What do you think about these potential solutions?

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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