Financial accountability Professor Richard LeBlanc spoke with radio host Matt Galloway on CBC’s Metro Morning to discuss Hydro One’s pay raises for its part-time board members. LeBlanc, who is an expert in board governance, teaches in the School of Administrative Studies in York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.
Despite Hydro One’s share price falling, the board members’ and shareholders’ decision to increase pay, according to the CBC, means a $25,000 raise for each part-time board member and a $70,000 raise for the chair of the board.
Leblanc says that this pay increase is “completely inappropriate due to timing and also because they (Hydro One) are 47 per cent owned by the Ontario taxpayers.” He believes that a peer group should have assessed board members’ salaries from utility companies like Hydro One from other provinces, which would have brought down the executive and director pay.
“(Doug) Ford has a point when he says that they (board members) should be representing the interest of the tax payers and putting their hands up and saying, ‘we’re not going to do this’.” LeBlanc says.
He calls the pay raises the board members have granted themselves “unacceptable” since Hydro One is an Ontario company with only seven to eight meetings annually. LeBlanc concludes that the company is not doing anyone justice by hiking up their own pay while taxpayers are overpaying for Hydro One’s services.