July 13, 2018 6:52 am

Bill Kelly: Hydro One CEO still gets cash for life

Doug Ford confirmed to media on Wednesday the plan to replace Hydro One's board of directors and the retiring of the CEO. Kamil Karamali has more.


The $6-million man may be gone, but contrary to what we were told by the premier’s office Thursday, it looks like outgoing CEO Mayo Schmidt will depart with close to $10 million in severance pay from Hydro One.

Initially, when the deal was announced, Ford’s team said that Schmidt’s payout would only be $400,000, not the $10-million  severance that his contract called for.

READ MORE: Hydro One CEO to retire, board to be replaced in deal with Ontario government

What they didn’t tell us, and I’m sure that they just forgot, was that the deal allows Schmidt to walk away with close to $10 million in stock options as well.

We can only hope that the government’s lack of transparency on this issue is a one-off oversight and not a harbinger of things to come.

So, as Schmidt exits with his cash for life, the Ford government still faces some monumental hurdles to attain their goal of lower hydro rates.

WATCH: Doug Ford says that getting rid of the Green Energy Act will reduce hydro rates

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Eliminating Schmidt’s salary came with a huge price tag and only saves hydro customers about two cents on their hydro bill.

Ford’s plan to use the profits from the province’s hydro shares to lower rates is a good start, but cancelling some of the Wynne government’s alternative energy programs could cost tens of millions of dollars, and that’s, if you’ll excuse the pun, a conservative estimate.

The Ford government isn’t the first to purport to have a solution for hydro; others have tried and failed, at great cost to taxpayers.

For all our sakes, we hope it’s a better outcome this time.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML

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