Big-money boys at Hydro One take $25000 bump in pay

Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford speaks during a campaign stop in Niagara Falls Ont. Monday

Hydro One board chair David Denison was unapologetic for the changes passed in the meeting, with the government abstaining from voting given that the company had previously agreed to review compensation levels. The results of that review, she said, are expected to lead to some changes.

"The minister of energy called the CEO of Hydro One, made it clear that we were not happy with it", she said. So, that is exactly why the review is happening.

"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", the statement read. "Second, by avoiding a no vote, we have also eliminated the risks that would flow from such a showdown and the consequent negative impact on Hydro One's shares".

The Liberal government made a decision to sell more than 50 per cent of Hydro One to raise funds for its massive transit infrastructure plan, a process that began in 2015. Ontario's Liberal government implemented a plan past year to lower household power bills by an average of 25 per cent, part of which relied on a "refinancing" of the global adjustment.

If today is anything to go by hydro costs will be one of the hot button issues right up to election night.

Wynne, however, defended the move.

"That's unacceptable", Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford fumed on Dundas St.in the rain outside Hydro One's annual meeting of shareholders.

Hydro One Ltd. said Tuesday that profit was up for its first quarter, an increase that comes as the company is being kicked around as a political football ahead of Ontario's June 7 election. "I'm there to save the taxpayers money, lower the hydro rates, lower taxes on people, putting money back into people's pocket instead of the government's pocket", Ford said.

Ford reiterated his promise to fire Hydro One's board of directors and the CEO - who would receive at least $10.7 million in severance - and predicted he'll have no trouble finding replacements.

"We're monitoring, we're running our business as investors would expect us to", Schmidt said.

Based on the speech lines from the three leaders I am betting that the internal polling each party is doing shows the NDP's fortunes improving.

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"We've got to take a look at the books", he said.

At a rally in London, Ont., Horwath said the pay hikes at the utility underscore the need for her plan.

Ford said he would not have done what Wynne did and sell Hydro One - "our best asset", something she did without even mentioning it in the election.

"Politics around hydro as a commodity has been very high but really, unfortunately, the focus has come on Hydro One a good bit", Schmidt told analysts on a conference call Tuesday.

Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath are just as outraged.

"We're quite frankly looking forward to getting through the election".

"But we're not losing our focus as an organization in the meantime", he added.

Earlier Tuesday, Hydro One announced it first-quarter profit rose to $222 million, which was up 33 per cent from the same time past year.

The Ontario utility's profit amounted to 37 cents per share, up from 28 cents per share in the first quarter of 2017.

We are Ontario's largest electricity transmission and distribution provider with more than 1.3 million valued customers, over C$25 billion in assets and 2017 annual revenues of almost C$6 billion.

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