Article published on 6 May 2013

OLG Criticized for Enormous Executive Pay

OLG CEO Receives Huge Pay
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The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) has come under fire for the size of the pay cheques handed to the group's top executives, despite current economic realities.

The Globe and Mail publication reported that the OLG's Chief Executive Officer, Rod Phillips was paid almost $673,000 in 2012, including a bonus payout of $297,989. This sum was 73% more than his predecessor, Kelly McDougald had received. McDougald took home $388,041 in 2008, it has been reported.

However, despite the high jump in pay cheques for the OLG CEO, the fact was defended by the chair of the lottery corporate, Paul Godfrey, who said that Phillips could easily earn much more if he moved out into the private sector and the public should be thankful that he remained on in his job.

"I have to tell you, we're really lucky to have him [Phillips]," said Godfrey. "I know in the eyes of the public they'll think it's a lot of money, but he could do better in the private sector than he does here."

OLG Employees in a Wage Freeze

For several years, Ontario Crown Corporations have frozen the wages of their employees to meet government orders, and OLG workers have been among those affected.

However, the OLG has continued to pay its top executives such as Rod Phillips high salaries and bigger bonuses, despite the wage freeze implemented by the Ontario Government.

The latest numbers regarding Phillips' 2012 payout did not sit well with these employees.

OLG Modernization Plans

In a press interview held last week regarding OLG executive pay cheques and other important matters, Godfrey said that 60% of its gambling revenue from 2002 to 2011 went mostly towards paying wages to 7,000 employees. However, he promised that with the OLG's latest modernization plans, things will be changing dramatically.

By 2017, said Godfrey, the OLG would be employing only 800 people since most of the current positions would be filled by the private sector.

"We are going to create a much leaner agency," said Godfrey. "OLG in the next few years is going to be about 90% smaller."

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming modernization plans are expected to bring in an extra $1.9 billion to the province once they are completed.

The lottery explained that in 2011-2012, it had contributed $1.9 billion to the province but had in actual fact spent $2.9 billion on what it considered 'non-prize' expenses. This included the maintenance of Ontario casinos and the head offices of the OLG.

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