Demand Accountability at Hydro One

Mr. Todd Smith: My question is to the Premier this morning. Premier, you’re not only selling Hydro One, you’re keeping Ontario taxpayers in the dark while you do it. Schedule 38 of the budget bill removed Hydro One from the responsibility of disclosing executive salaries in spite of the fact that Hydro One is still in public hands for now. Hydro users that are seeing skyrocketing hydro bills have no idea how much of their bill is actually now going into the wallets of suits at Hydro One.

Premier, shouldn’t taxpayers have the right to know how much they’re paying high-priced hydro executives?

Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: To the Minister of Energy.

Hon. Bob Chiarelli: Under the Ontario Securities Commission, which would govern Hydro One in this situation, they’re required to file every year the salaries of their highest paid executives. I think there are six or seven of them or somewhere in that number, plus the board of directors and it will be completely public and transparent.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary.

Mr. Todd Smith: This hydro scheme is nothing but Liberals paying their high-priced Liberal friends. That’s all this is: Liberals paying Liberals. We know that there’s no bottom of the trough when it comes to Liberal friends on Bay Street.

Hon. Brad Duguid: Show us one piece of evidence of that. That is baloney. You’re making that up—

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Minister of Economic Development, come to order.

Mr. Todd Smith: When he was CEO—

Interjections.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Stop the clock, please. I’m not sure you heard me over his shouting. The Minister of Economic Development will come to order. Don’t test—

Interjection.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): I don’t need another armchair. Carry on, please.

Mr. Todd Smith: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. When Carmine Marcello was the CEO of Hydro One, his salary was in excess of $740,000 a year, making him one of the highest paid executives in the public sector.

Last month, Premier, you hired a new CEO for Hydro One, whose previous private sector compensation regularly topped $5 million a year. I’m wondering if that’s the reason why you took executive pay at Hydro One off the sunshine list, because you didn’t want taxpayers to know that you had backed up the Brink’s truck to pay for your new hydro CEO.

Hon. Bob Chiarelli: The new leader of the PCs is quoted as saying, “I generally believe that the private sector can do a better job than the public sector. I…think market conditions would be helpful for a lot of government agencies.”

The PC Party has been in favour of taking Hydro One public for some time now. They made a failed effort in 2002. They also have in their white paper, which was adopted by the previous leader just a couple of years ago, that they supported Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One being sold partially to the public, as we’re doing. Not only that, but with respect to the rates, they said and they adopted in their white paper that the Ontario Energy Board could protect rates—

 


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