Hydro One is trending on Twitter in light of a damning news report ahead of its Annual General Meeting today. It was first revealed by the CBC that Hydro One’s part-time board of directors approved $25,000 raises for themselves despite shares falling about 16 per cent year-over-year. The details came out of Hydro One’s Management Information Circular The hike means their salaries went from $160,000 per year to $185,000 per year, effective Jan 1’st 2018 – half of it in shares.
Board Chair David Denison’s salary jumped from $260,000 to $330,000.
Hydro One says the decision was made after Hugessen Consulting Inc. conducted a “compensation benchmarking review” that will bring the Hydro One board more in-line with a broader peer group – which included companies such as TransCanada, Air Canada and the National Bank of Canada.
The Ontario Government currently has 47 per cent ownership of Hydro One and Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault released this statement today ahead of the AGM. “As the largest single shareholder in Hydro One the government of Ontario was dissatisfied with the specific proposals for executive compensation when they were brought forward by the board.
We expressed our dissatisfaction clearly and succeeded in securing from the board a commitment that a review of the compensation model would be conducted relying on additional third party experts. On that basis the government has formally signalled its intention to abstain from today’s vote at the AGM.”
Doug Ford has promised to get rid of the board and CEO
Thibeault went on to call PC Leafer Doug Ford’s approach “reckless and chaotic.” Ford has been talking about high hydro bills and Hydro One executive salaries during just about every campaign stop ahead of the June election. While in Barrie last Friday Ford promised to get rid of the board and have its directors fire President and CEO Mayo Schmidt, who earned over $6 million in salary and bonuses in 2017. Back in April, Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government called on Hydro One to review its compensation scheme. Andrea Horwath’s NDPs’ plan to buy back shares of Hydro One to get regain public control.