Friday, December 13, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday, December 13, 2013

It pays to be an Executive working for the Ontario Government

Ontarians have for too long been the victims of a culture of entitlement at Ontario Power Generation, says Premier Kathleen Wynne.

She was reacting Wednesday to a scathing report from the provincial auditor general that slammed the utility for its overly generous salaries, bonuses and pensions.

“I am deeply concerned about what seems to be the culture in that organization, which is why changes are being made. We are going to bring in legislation to actually allow us to have more ability to control those compensation packages,” Wynne told reporters at Queen’s Park.
Ironically, she had just spoken to members of CARP, a senior advocacy group, about enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan.

Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk said the “very generous” compensation for senior staff at OPG, which was created after Ontario Hydro was broken up, is being passed on to ratepayers, who face a 42-per-cent rise in their electricity bills over the next five year.

Within hours of the damning report being delivered, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli announced that three highly paid senior OPG executives were canned.

The compensation controversy is just the latest to hit the minority Liberal government bedevilled by a litany of spending problems, including the gas plants debacle that could cost taxpayers up to $1.1 billion. (Source: Toronto Star)

The governing Liberals confirmed Wednesday that ousted Ornge CEO Chris Mazza collected $9.3-million over six years at the province’s publicly funded air ambulance service.

The figure, which was recently reported, “is accurate,” Health Minister Deb Matthews said Wednesday after testifying at a legislative committee.

That includes salary, bonuses, expenses and other fees, she said. A summary sheet outlining what Mazza collected will be provided to the committee to “make it all clear.”

A legislative committee looking into the Ornge spending scandal had previously heard that Mazza made $1.4-million in a single year, on top of hefty loans totalling $1.2-million. (Source: Toronto Star)