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Top 10: Highest earning CEOs in Canada

|May 29|magazine18 min read

Chances are, when you find yourself at the head of a company, you’ll earn a healthy salary. Specifically, the top 10 CEOs in Canada can rejoice about the impressive pay package each receives on an annual basis. Interestingly enough, the highest paid CEOs earn an average of $9.2 million dollars a year. This figure is an astounding 190 times more than the average citizen in Canada, who earns $47,358.

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Conducted every year by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, we invite you to meet the top 10 highest paid CEOs in Canada, thanks to the assistance of fiscal 2013. On a side note, each CEO listed below happens to be a man. Will women be cracking into the top 10 highest paid CEOs in the near future?

10. Paul Colborne

Since 2013, Paul Colborne has held the title of President and CEO of Surge Energy Inc., an oil focused E&P company that has a high quality crude oil reserve, production and cash flow base. Due to other compensation (bonuses, shares, options, pension and other payments), Colborne earns $13,675,941 a year from the company.

Colborne obtained a Bachelors of Arts in Economics and a Bachelors of Laws from the University of Calgary. He has a combined total of 22 years experience in the oil and gas industry; his expertise is considered to be in commercial law, including the following: securities, banking, oil and gas.

9. Doug Suttles

President and CEO of Encana Corporation since 2013, Doug Suttles earns $13,774,095 a year—$562,830 coming from a base salary, with another $13,211,265 earned in other compensation. Formed in 2002, Encana Corporation is known for producing, transporting and marketing natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids.

Suttles graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983 with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Upon earning his degree, he immediately joined the global oil and gas industry.

8. Gordon M. Nixon

The previous CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada, Gordon M. Nixon earned an annual base salary of $1,500,000. However, combined with $12, 538,877 from other compensation, Nixon’s total stipend amounted to $14,038,877. He stepped down from this coveted position in August 2014.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Nixon received a Bachelors of Commerce degree from Queen’s University in 1979. He is currently married to Janet Nixon and has three children. 

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7. Robert Dѐpatie

As the former CEO of Quebecor Inc., Robert Dѐpatie earned $14,821,147 last year—$1,200,000 coming from his base salary and another $13,621,147 coming from other compensation. Quebecor Inc. is a leader in telecommunications, entertainment, news media and culture, as well as holds the label of being one of the best-performing integrated communications companies in the industry. Due to health reasons, Dѐpatie resigned from the company in late 2014.

6. JR Shaw

The executive chair of Shaw Communications, Inc.—JR Shaw—earns a base salary of $1,500,000, as well as $15,880,533 in other compensation, for a grand total of $17,380,532. Shaw Communications, Inc. is a telecommunications company that is responsible for providing telephone, Internet  and television services throughout Canada.

Born in Brigden, Ontario, Shaw achieved a Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration from Michigan State University and holds other honorary degrees from a variety of universities, such as University of Alberta, University of Calgary and Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. 

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5. Steven K. Hudson

Along with gaining the CEO title of Element Financial Group, Steven K. Hudson earns a combined total of $18,865,028—$660,000 base salary and $18,205,028 from other compensation. He has been the head of Element Financial Group since 2011.

Hudson grew up in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough and later graduated from York University, obtaining a degree in Bachelor of Business Administration.

4. Donald J. Walker

The CEO of Magna International Inc., Donald J. Walker earns an annual salary of $334,903, but takes home a total $19,557,600 thanks to other forms of compensation. A leading global automotive supplier, Magna International Inc. has been headed by Donald “Don” J. Walker since November 2010. 

Walker earned a B.Sc in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo, Ontario. He joined Magna International Inc. in 1987, prior to which he worked at General Motors in a variety of engineering and manufacturing positions.

 3. Michael M. Wilson

Michael M. Wilson is the former CEO of Agrium Inc., a major retail supplier of agricultural products, where he earned a total of $23,818,740 each year. Broken down, that’s a base salary of $1,507,200, with other compensations totaling $22,311,540.

A graduate of the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Wilson has a degree in chemical engineering. He originally joined Agrium Inc. as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer back in August 2000. In association with the chemical industry, Wilson has over 30 years of international and executive management experience.  

 2. Nadir Mohamed

As the previous CEO of Rogers Communications Inc., a public Canadian communications and media company, Mohamed earned $1,130,769 a year. Mixed with other compensation ($25,639, 204), Mohamed brought home $26,769,973 from Rogers Communications Inc.—quite a leap from Gerald W. Schwartz’s annual income.

Born and raised in Tanzania, Mohamed studied accounting at the University of British Columbia and later joined Rogers Communications Inc. in 2000.

1. Gerald W. Schwartz

The founder, chairman and CEO of Onex Corporation, Canada’s most successful private equity firm, Schwartz earns an annual salary of $1,339, 611. However, after his income is combined with other compensation, Schwartz earns a remarkable $87,917,026.

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Gerald “Gerry” W. Schwartz currently resides in Toronto, Ontario. He received his B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Manitoba and later earned an MBA degree from Harvard University. Schwartz is married to Heather Reisman, Chief Executive of Indigo Books and Music. Schwartz has two children from his previous marriage and two step-children from Reisman.

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