Source: Town of Grimsby/Fair Dealing

If you have been wondering what exactly is in the CAO’s whole employment contract, well it is has finally been released. A reader sent this eye-opening document to us after fighting tooth-and-nail with the Town, who originally censored large sections of it… and it is interesting to say the least.

The full document is available at the end of this post, but here are some notable highlights from the previously withheld portions of the contract:

This portion states that the CAO’s contract will end in September 2023. It is worth noting that it is common for new terms of Council to “part ways” with CAOs after being sworn-in, which next happens in November 2022.

Thanks to the “Sunshine List” we know that the CAO earned a salary (taxable benefits excluded) of $220,965.02 in 2020 and $217,173.22 in 2021. From the contract, the starting base salary is $185,000 with eligibility for an up to 4% increase annually for an “exceptional performance” evaluation from Council. So there is a discrepancy between numbers here, perhaps explained by the next section.

Benefits & Pension

Rather than paying into OMERS, the CAO received cash in-lieu of those contributions for over 2 years while being employed by the Town. The CAO was dismissed from the City of Brampton in December 2018, so the time period mentioned may be related to his contract there, which was still paying him in 2021.

This is highly unusual, given that OMERS makes it clear:

Source: OMERS Website –

A representative from OMERS confirmed that, except in very limited circumstances, any new continuous full-time employee must start paying into the pension fund when they start with a municipality.

How much cash-in-lieu does the contract provide for? An email from the previous HR director, spells it out:

Based on the contract’s base salary of $185,000, another $24,000 on top per year was paid to the CAO instead of paying into OMERS. That gets us much closer to the “Sunshine List” figures.

Termination Provisions

Here is the portion of the contract some may be interested in:

Council has the right to terminate the CAO at any time for “just cause” defined broadly as “willful misconduct, neglect of duty and/or willful disobedience”.

But if there is no just cause and more than 12 months remain on the contract (termination earlier than September 29, 2022), then the Town must pay the CAO twelve months of current salary. If there is less than a year on the contract left (termination after September 29, 2022), it must pay the balance of the contract, until September 29, 2023.

The next one has a few bits to process:

First, it establishes that the CAO and the CAO only has the authority to hire and terminate Town Staff. Unfortunately, this is not fully the case in law. When it comes to statutory positions such as Treasurer or Clerk, only Council has the authority to appoint and terminate these positions, as the Municipal Act takes precedence. It should be noted that the Town’s long-time Treasurer was terminated in March 2021 without the express permission of Council.

Secondly, if the CAO feels his role is being “fettered” with and raises issue with the Mayor (CEO of the Corporation) and the matter is not rectified, then an automatic termination without “just cause” kicks in. Along with that comes with all the pay and bennies listed in 13.4 above.

The Full Monte

Those were just snippets. Now that the contract is naked without any crossed out text, you are free to dig in and see what other gems can be found: