Report: Metrolinx CEO in line for a big pay hike

Metrolinx GO Transit

Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster has been given a new three year term and a big raise.

The Toronto Star reports that Verster's base salary will rise from $507,968 in 2019, to $686,566 in 2021, a 35 percent increase. He's could also earn an extra 20 percent in performance-based pay, for a potential $823,000 salary.

The Star cites senior government sources in their report.

A consultant reportedly recommended the increase based on salaries for similar jobs.

The sources also suggest that had the province needed to hire someone else, it would have caused disruption and cost taxpayers more in the long run.

Provincial officials believe the increase in pay is justified.

"Since Mr. Verster was appointed to the CEO role in 2017, the scale and complexity of transportation projects that he is accountable for has grown significantly." Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney said in a statement to NEWSTALK 1010.

"Not only is he responsible for overseeing Ontario’s multi-billion dollar GO Passenger Rail Expansion Program that will achieve two way, all-day, 15 minute service across the GO passenger rail network, he is also responsible for Ontario’s historic $28.5 billion plan to build four new subway lines which will expand the existing subway network by more than 50% and is the single the largest subway expansion program in North America."

The statement goes on to say, "Mr. Verster has led the way in increasing ridership and service levels across the GO Transit and UP Express system. He has successfully turned GO Transit from a commuter service to a truly regional transit network." 

In August, the province projected a deficit of $38.5 billion this year.