Over 680 Lambton residents make Sunshine List


Alex Kurial
Local Journalism Initiative

Some of Lambton’s smaller communities have made the provincial Sunshine List for the first time, but the people paid the most by the taxpayers continue to be in the health care field.
Each year, the province releases a list of people who earned more than $100,000 from their taxpayer funded positions. In Lambton County, The Independent has found 686 people who topped that mark. And while some of the salaries are high, this year, some of the top earners received only rate of inflation salary increases.
Michael Lapaine, president and CEO of Bluewater Health, with a salary of $329,987.99, a two per cent increase from 2018. There were 179 people at Bluewater Health on the list including three vice presidents, who earned about $180,000.
Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health also made the list; Dr. Sudit Ranade earned $299,567.24 – that’s up by about 1.8 per cent.
The Lambton Kent District School Board had 273 people hitting the mark. Former director of education Jim Costello – who retired in June – topped the LKDSB list at $189,803.37. He was followed by seven superintendents, who made between $172,000 and $180,000. Current director of education John Howitt served as superintendent of education in Greater Essex County for half of last year before accepting the role, so was not on Lambton’s 2019 list.
Deborah Crawford, director of education for the St. Clair Catholic District School Board, made $218,056.02. Associate director Amy Janssens made $188,699.94,. Three superintendents were also on the list making over $175,000. Ninety five people earned more than $100,000 at the Catholic board.
Lambton College had 111 people earning more than $100,000, including President and CEO Judith Morris earning $264,439.81. She earned about $9,000 less than 2018.
The Township of St. Clair had eight employees on the list, senior among them chief administrative officer John Rodey at $151,191.10. Director of public works Brian Black and director of finance Charles Quenneville each made $132,334.61 in their respective roles.
In Petrolia, Richard Charlebois was the top earner at $145,418.94. That’s significantly more than his predecessor, however Charlebois is both the CAO and the treasurer.
Plympton-Wyoming had two employees on the list, CAO Carolyn Tripp earning $145,750.98 and the treasurer, Norma Roddick-Preece at $103,752.72. It is the first time Plympton-Wyoming had more than one employee top the $100,000 mark.
Warwick Township’s CAO, Amanda Gubbels made the list this year as well, making $100,802.
There were 55 employees of Lambton County on the Sunshine List including the CAO, Ron Van Horne at $212,974.32 and former treasurer John Innes at $213,452.
And Brian McDougall, general manager of the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority which serves the area, pulled in $129,049.00 for his work.
Ontario Power Generation’s former CEO, Jeffrey Lyash, topped the 2019 list making $938,845.89 last year.
Premier Doug Ford made $208,974 last year while Sarnia Lambton MPP Bob Bailey brought in $133,217.04 and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP and Labour Minister Monte McNaughton was paid $165,851.04.
The province started tracking salaries in 1996 and set $100,000 as the mark for the Sunshine List. Today, $100,000 would be the worth of $164,509.24 with inflation.
There were just under 167,000 people on the list this year, up more than 10 per cent from last yea