Halifax Regional Police Const. Shaun Carvey, who made $111,462.71 in fiscal 2020-2021, stands in full riot gear on Aug. 18, 2021. — Photo: Zane Woodford

Halifax Regional Municipality has released its 2021 sunshine list, showing 1,065 employees made more than $100,000 in the last fiscal year, and more than 40% of them work for the police force.

The municipality has released the list annually since 2016, and the 2021 edition was posted online on Thursday, with HRM alerting citizens to the list in a tweet.*

The list shows employees’ salaries and “other benefits,” along with their total compensation. Those other benefits include payments like overtime, severance, lump-sum vacation payouts, and vehicle allowances. They do not include the value of pensions or health benefits.

The business unit with the highest number of employees on the list is Halifax Regional Police, with 454, or about 43%. With 804.4 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions in the police budget, that means 56% of police employees are paid more than $100,000.

Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency employees make up the next highest number of employees making more than $100,000, with 370 employees on the list. Sixty-nine percent of HRFE employees made $100,000 or more in 2020-2021, based on their approved FTE count of 536.5.

As for the highest paid employees, there are no big surprises on this year’s sunshine list, but the police chief has seen a significant jump in compensation.

Chief administrative officer Jacques Dubé tops the list with $298,163.57 in total compensation, a 2% increase over last year’s $292,132.33.

Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella was the second-highest paid employee in HRM, up from eighth the year before, making $253,946.39. That’s an increase of 18% over the $215,409.19 he made last year.

Rounding out the top-10 list:

  • Halifax Water general manager Cathie O’Toole, $251,362.85
  • Legal director John Traves, $239,725.34
  • Transportation and Public Works director Brad Anguish, $233,334.08
  • Now-retired former Chief Financial Officer Jane Fraser, $231,575.98
  • Fired Chief Information Officer Sarah Teal, $227,749.68 (including $88,496.50 in what looks like severance)
  • Cogswell Interchange Redevelopment project manager Anthony Spinelli, $213,341.97
  • Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Chief Ken Stuebing, $208,907.08
  • Planning director Kelly Denty, $206,364.67

Last year, a former bus mechanic who faced discrimination on the job topped the sunshine list, with a fired senior director coming in at No. 2, having made $310,860.08 for just a few months work.

Here’s the rest of the 2020-2021 list. You can sort and search using the functions at the top. For instance, click the Total Compensation header twice to sort the list to start with the highest earners.

*Correction — Sept. 7, 2021:

A previous version of this article misstated HRM’s previous distribution of the list.

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Zane Woodford

Zane Woodford is the Halifax Examiner’s municipal reporter. He covers Halifax City Hall and contributes to our ongoing PRICED OUT housing series. Twitter @zwoodford

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  1. Volunteers provide fire services for a modest $3000 honourarium, 69% of HRFE make more than $100000.

    Paramedic average salary in NS, $40000.


  2. What i really want to know is “how much of the police and fire payroll, is the result of overtime?”. can this be managed better to eliminate time and a half or double time.

    The genesis of this salary race was amalgamation. they merged 4 municipal units and each new department (Police, Fire, Engineering, etc) took the highest base salary and applied it to the other 3 municipal units. there was an instant bump in pay for everyone, which compounded with inflation and COLA (cost of living increases) gets you where you are today.

  3. I wonder how many on the sunshine list are Indigenous or African Nova Scotian folks? How many are women? How many are immigrants or people of colour?

  4. Police Constables have a high school diploma and a police academy training for 18 months. No University – no higher learning.

    1. And how do you know this ? I knew many men who left school at the age of 15 and went on to be Master of a 200,000 ton crude oil tanker. Each promotion required 4 written exams over 2 days.

    2. I was just going to say this! Probably the easiest path to a $100K salary there is. You just have pass an 18 month course, have no principles, be willing to be violent towards whoever stands in your way. You even get eternal job security, nothing short of being a serial killer will get you fired.

      People will argue that they’re paid for the risk but being a police officer isn’t even in the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the country (many of which are paid much less than police).