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Top Canadian CEOs made more than 200 times average worker — study

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

MONTREAL, Canada (AFP) — Canada's 100 highest paid CEOs made more than 200 times the income of the ordinary worker in 2016, raking in an average Can$10.4 million (US$8.3 million), a study found yesterday.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said CEO pay in 2016 was the highest it had been since the 2008 global recession.

Salary accounted for only 11 per cent of their pay, compared to 14 per cent in 2008, due to the rising share of bonuses and stocks in executive compensation.

By 11:00 am (1600 GMT) yesterday, the best-paid CEOs already had made more than the country's Can$49,738 average annual salary.

“The average worker will have to work full-time all year to earn that amount,” it said.

The average annual pay of the top 100 earners was 209 times the national average, and more than 315 times a new minimum wage of Can$15 in some provinces.

“Canada's corporate executives were among the loudest critics of a new Can$15 minimum wage in provinces like Ontario and Alberta, while the highest paid among them were raking in record-breaking earnings,” said the report's author, David Macdonald.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals' CEO Joseph Papa was the best paid in 2016, making Can$83.1 million in eight months on the job, according to the report.

He took over in May 2016 amid a crisis that took the company's stock from CAN$257 in mid-2015 to less than $10 a share by early 2017.