OTTAWA -- Ottawa's top doctor earned $110,000 more in 2020 than she did the previous year, as she became the public face of the local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the salary bump was due to a retroactive pay settlement from the Ontario Medical Association, not because of overtime worked during the pandemic.

Medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches earned $369,833.96 in 2020, up from $259,016 in 2019.

The Ontario government released the so-called ‘sunshine list’ for 2020 Friday afternoon, which shows the compensation for all public sector employees who were paid $100,000 or more.

The city of Ottawa says the $110,000 salary increase to Dr. Etches is due to a one-time payment based on a settlement from negotiations with the Ontario Medical Association.

“Dr. Etches, the medical officer of health, salary was adjusted by the province (inclusive of three years of retroactive payments) resulting in the earnings reported on the Public Service Salary Disclosure," said Human Resources director Elizabeth Marland in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

"The province established funding provisions to ensure that Medical Officer of Health salary levels are competitive with other physician specialists and to improve the ability for organizations to attract and retain qualified employees. Recent adjustments were as a result of Ontario Medical Association negotiations."

The city of Ottawa says there were no overtime payments to Dr. Etches for her work in 2020. 

Etches and her two associate medical officers of health were three of the five highest paid civil servants at Ottawa city hall.

Associate medical officer of health Dr. Monir Taha earned $310,745, while Dr. Robin Taylor earned $310,733.

Associate medical officer of health, Dr. Sarah Funnell, earned $275,666.

City manager Steve Kanellakos was Ottawa's highest paid civil servant in 2020, earning $377,218 last year. Kanellakos earned $361,430 in 2019.

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly earned $359,133 in his first full year as police chief in Ottawa. Former chief Charles Bordeleau earned $292,387 during his final full year as chief in 2018.

Ottawa Auditor General Ken Hughes earned $351,544 last year. OC Transpo general manager John Manconi earned $295,624 in 2020.

University of Ottawa Dean Bernard Jasmin earned $433,761 in 2020, while uOttawa President Jacques Fremont earned $399,616 last year.

The city’s highest paid civil servant was Ottawa Hospital Research Institute executive vice-president Duncan Stewart, who earned $540,771 in 2020. Ottawa Hospital president and CEO Cameron Love earned $474,912. His predecessor, Dr. Jack Kitts, who retired in June, earned $448,994.

University of Ottawa Heart Institute President Thierry Mesana earned $446,802. CHEO President Alex Munter earned $329,999 in 2020


The city of Ottawa says 4,858 city of Ottawa employees are on the sunshine list, which includes city, Ottawa Public Library and Ottawa Police Service. That's an increase of 214 employees from 2019.

Of the 4,858 employees on the list, 54 per cent are first responders.

  • Ottawa Police Service: 1,462
  • Ottawa Fire Services: 846
  • Ottawa Paramedic Service: 320

"It should be noted that there were 27 pay periods in 2020; in a typical year there are 26. A year with 27 pay periods occurs once every 11 years. The additional two-week pay caused some earnings to increase beyond $100,000," said a memo to Council from Elizabeth Marland, director of Human Resources Services.

"If this was a typical 26 pay period year, there would have been 158 fewer employees as compared to 2019, which would have been a decrease of 3.5 per cent in 2020.


The article stated Ottawa Hospital president and CEO Cameron Love was Ottawa's highest paid civil servant. Ottawa Hospital executive vice-president Duncan Stewart was the highest paid.