Alberta’s 20 highest paid executives made over $200M in 2019

Most of them were in oil and gas.

Last week, I wrote a story about the 100 highest paid CEOs in Canada in 2019. I was reviewing the data again and thought I’d follow up with a focus on how Alberta fares on that list.

The numbers in this story are based on whether the companies in the list have headquarters in Alberta.

Unsurprisingly, Alberta had the 3rd highest number of CEOs on this list. I say its unsurprising because we happen to have the 3rd largest population, too, and with more population comes higher concentration of businesses, including headquarters.

That being said, it barely made third place. Ontario had the most at 41, Québec was next at 21, and Alberta had 20. All the other provinces combined had 15, and there were 3 who headed companies that were outside of Canada.

Now, just because Alberta had 20 executives on the list, doesn’t mean it had 20 companies on the list: 5 of the companies had at least two executives make the list.

Shaw Communications3
Canadian Natural Resources2
Suncor Energy2
Canadian Pacific Railway1
Cenovus Energy1
Husky Energy1
Imperial Oil1
Pembina Pipeline Corp1
Precision Drilling Corp1
TC Energy Corporation1
Transalta Corp1

Here’s how the 14 Alberta companies paid out in total compensation to their executives who made the list:

Shaw Communications$29,384,483
Suncor Energy$21,333,949
Canadian Natural Resources$20,994,868
Canadian Pacific Railway$15,150,402
TC Energy Corporation$13,440,747
Cenovus Energy$9,046,317
Imperial Oil$8,087,928
Pembina Pipeline Corp$7,998,233
Husky Energy$7,436,069
Transalta Corp$6,760,014
Precision Drilling Corp$6,641,230

And here’s how it breaks down by industry:


Finally, here’s total compensation for each CEO:

Al MonacoPresident & CEOEnbridge$17,993,384
Doug SuttlesCEOEnCana$16,679,656
Keith E. CreelPresident & CEOCanadian Pacific Railway$15,150,402
Russell GirlingPresident & CEOTC Energy$13,440,747
N. Murray EdwardsExecutive ChairCanadian Natural Resources$12,819,901
Bradley S.ShawCEOShaw Communications$11,986,921
Mark S. LittlePresident & CEOSuncor Energy$11,718,684
Steven W. WilliamsFormer CEOSuncor Energy$9,615,265
Jay MehrPresidentShaw Communications$9,188,402
Alexander J. PourbaixPresident & CEOCenovus Energy$9,046,317
JR ShawExecutive ChairShaw Communications$8,209,160
Tim S. McKayPresident & CEOCanadian Natural Resources$8,174,967
R.M. KrugerChair & CEOImperial Oil$8,087,928
Michael DilgerPresident & CEOPembina Pipeline$7,998,233
Randall CrawfordPresident & CEOAltagas$7,841,594
Robert J. PeabodyPresident & CEOHusky Energy$7,436,069
Mike McAllisterPresidentEnCana$6,966,201
William T. YardleyExecutive VP & President, Gas Transmission & MidstreamEnbridge$6,940,783
Dawn L. FarrellPresident & CEOTransalta$6,760,014
Kevin A. NeveuPresident & CEOPrecision Drilling$6,641,230

A few interesting things from this data.

N. Murray Edwards, the executive chair of Canadian Natural Resources, received a salary of only $1 in 2019. However, when you factor in over $2 million in stock options and over $10.7 million in cash bonuses, he received nearly $13 million, making him the 5th highest paid executive in Alberta. His cash bonus was the highest of any of the executives from the list.

Likewise, 3 other executives—Tim S. McKay, president and CEO of CNRL; Mike McAllister, president of EnCana; and William T. Yardley, Enbridge’s executive vice-president, as well as their president of gas transmission and midstream—all received less than $1 million in salaries. However, they ended up with much more than that once you factor in stocks, cash bonuses, and pensions. McAllister and Yardley both came in at just under $7 million in 2019 total compensation, while McKay was just over $8 million.

Bradley Shaw, the CEO of Shaw Communications, was the only one on the list who received a 2019 salary of $2 million or higher.

Doug Suttles, the CEO of EnCana, received the highest compensation in stocks, at nearly $10 million. Keith E. Creel, president and CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway, received over $3.6 million in stock options, the most of anyone on the list.

The highest pension value that year was awarded to Jay Mehr, president of Shaw Communications, who received almost $3.7 million. The highest “other compensation” amount was paid out to R.M. Kruger, chair & CEO of Imperial Oil, who received over $3.1 million. Only one other executive on the list received over $1 million in “other compensation”: Bradley Shaw ($1.2 million).

One final note: fourth on the list for total compensation in 2019 was Russell Girling, president & CEO of TC Energy ($13.4 million). If that company name sounds familiar, it’s because 3 months after the end of 2019, the Alberta government announced that it was investing $1.5 billion in TC Energy stock to help the company pay for their new pipeline: Keystone XL. The company has yet to release their fourth quarter financials for 2020, but they posted profits of $1.3 billion in the first quarter, $1.4 billion in the second quarter, and $1.0 billion in the third quarter. Those last two quarters were during the pandemic.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

4 replies on “Alberta’s 20 highest paid executives made over $200M in 2019”

I am surprised that Nancy Southern, the Chair and the CEO of ATCO, did make this list.

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