July 21, 2017 5:17 pm
Updated: July 21, 2017 8:27 pm

BC Hydro president Jessica McDonald fired

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BC Hydro’s president Jessica McDonald has been fired.

In a statement from BC Hydro, the board said they expressed their “sincere gratitude to Ms. McDonald for her exemplary leadership of and dedicated service to BC Hydro and recognizes the profound impact her vision, innovative thinking and unwavering commitment to excellence has had, and will continue to have, on the company.”

Chris O’Riley is now Hydro’s new president. O’Riley had been Hydro’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer since 2015, and a member of the executive team since 2007.

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But what about severance?

“A regular employee would get two to four weeks, somewhere in that range for every year that they’ve been there,” said Scott Hennig, acting B.C. director for the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation.

Adding that most likely, that won’t be the case with McDonald who made nearly $530,000 over the last year.

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“A government though isn’t necessarily your normal workplace, particularly these upper levels, you can see them give guarantees of one year’s pay or something like that,” he said.

“It wouldn’t stun me if they end up paying her for a full extra year of work, so an extra $530,000 for severance.”

Hennig said we won’t know the exact details of the former CEO’s pay out until BC Hydro releases McDonald’s contract.

On Thursday premier John Horgan announced Kenneth G. Peterson as the new chair of BC Hydro’s board.

Former deputy minister and public policy expert Doug McArthur said on Thursday that the changes are not a surprise.

He said changes in BC Hydro will play a particularly important role as the NDP and the Greens work to halt the Site C project.

With files from Terry Schintz and Keith Baldrey 

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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