Forget about “Rob Ford’s peccadilloes” with nefarious actions outside Council chambers, maybe Toronto should look INSIDE the daily business that’s being done within Council chambers when it comes to the rot inside Toronto Hydro!
Tom Adams has produced irrefutable proof that the CEO of Toronto Hydro is anything but a legitimate and well referenced executive who has complete control over the massive utility that charges Toronto Hydro customers some of the most inflated electrical prices in North America.
Maybe Rob and Doug can dodge their off-ice shenanigans but it would be in Toronto’s citizens best interests to begin questioning what is actually going on INSIDE the Council of the GTA!
In the weekend’s Toronto newspapers, commentators Daniel Dale at the Toronto Star, Terence Corcoran and Chris Selley at the National Post examine the economic record of Toronto’s Ford brothers. None of these assessments address the Ford brothers’ direct contribution to the governance crisis at city-owned Toronto Hydro and their record of ignoring harm to the city’s electricity ratepayers. The citizens of Toronto have much more at stake with our power delivery service than with garbage collection or vehicle licensing.
Toronto city council is failing to supervise Toronto Hydro while the municipality’s largest business asset jacks up rates unjustifiably and squanders what may amount to dozens of millions of dollars per year.
The complexity of Toronto Hydro’s scheming is clearly over the head of the Fords but the brothers bear much of the responsibility for the harm.
With the Ford’s enablement, Toronto Hydro’s gravy train is picking up speed. Since the Fords gained power in 2010, compensation for Anthony Haines, Toronto Hydro’s CEO, has jumped 32%. Haines is on pace to haul in more than $1 million this year before considering any special pension bonuses or retirement allowances.
Including his $330K special retirement allowance gain last year, Haines took home 6.8 times the average pay of other municipal workers in equivalent positions of responsibility at the five largest municipal water utilities in Ontario — positions at least as challenging as running a power distributor.
Before Haines’ phoney CVs were known, I had already presented evidence in this series showing how Toronto Hydro has higher rates than any other urban utility in Ontario, its reliability is poor relative to comparable utilities and worsening, and outages are treated as assets in Toronto Hydro’s effort to justify rate hikes.
For years, Haines has been telling everyone who will listen that Toronto Hydro is increasing rates as fast as possible. Utility types are mesmerised by him. He is chairman of the Canadian Electrical Association. He has major addresses scheduled before the Ontario Energy Network and the Canadian Association of Member of Public Utility Tribunals. Toronto Hydro’s Board of Directors keeps giving him bonuses based on how much he can jack up rates.
Spinning half-truths and buzz words like “Smart Grid” and “conservation culture”, Haines specializes in massively ramped up capital spending. In its 10 year capital plan of 2007, Toronto Hydro told the Ontario Energy Board it would be spending about $130 million this year. The utility’s capital budget for this year is a grotesquely bloated $579 million. Armed with convenient claims of a newly discovered “infrastructure deficit”, the utility sounds the “smart grid” alarm relentlessly.
Rather than defending consumers as a regulator should, the Ontario Energy Board under McGuinty became so afflicted with conflicts of interest that the regulator is now part of the problem. As one example of conflicted interests, one of the regulator’s full time board members recently move directly over from the Board to become the VP for Regulatory Affairs at Toronto Hydro.