Opinion

EDITORIAL: These numbers are hard to swallow

If we’ve learned anything from the Great Recession, it’s that the country’s highest-paid CEOs will always survive—and thrive—no matter what happens to the economy.

According to an annual review by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the average compensation amongst Canada’s top 100 CEOs was $7.96 million in 2012. The average Canadian workers’s salary was $46,634. Do a little math and that works out to CEOs making about 171 times the earnings of the average worker.

Here’s something to chew on: by the time the average Canadian worker was done lunch on Jan. 2 of this year, the top CEOs had already made their equivalent yearly wage. Kinda makes you want to lose your lunch.

It’s not that we begrudge executives from being well compensated, it’s just that the gap between “us” and “them” continues to expand at a rate that is far beyond fair. CEO salaries have risen 73 per cent between 1998 and 2012. The average Canadian worker: six per cent.

And despite the intense scrutiny CEO salaries have come under since 2008, there doesn’t seem to be any clear relationship between CEO salaries and corporate performance, according to report author Hugh Mackenzie.

But maybe we Canadians shouldn’t complain; American CEOs make 257 times the average worker’s wage in that country.

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