Hydro CEO doubled his salary in two years

When Jeffrey Lyash made Ontario’s Sunshine List in 2015, the President and CEO of Ontario Power Generation was earning a paltry $787,472.14. This year his earnings were revealed to be $1,554,456.95 plus an additional $6,684 in taxable benefits.

Nice work if you can get it!

So how does someone who runs damn near a monopoly, a public sector monopoly at that, double their income in two years? It isn’t by providing better service to customers.

Lyash joined OPG as CEO in 2015, making that paltry salary for his partial year’s work. In 2016 his salary was up to $1,155,899.14 and last year, as disclosed in the annual Sunshine List, Lyash was paid a total of  $1,561,140.95.

That means Lyash received a raise of $405,241.81 in one year.

For what?

Is your hydro bill any cheaper? Is the system more reliable?

Now I understand that OPG is not the organization that sells us our power directly. In Ontario’s complex web of a power system, they generate the electricity, that is sold to utilities and it is the utilities that gouge us, with the backing of the ever meddling provincial government.

But this is a provincial system and OPG is a provincial entity.

Compare OPG to Hydro Quebec.

Hydro Quebec has nearly double the employees of OPG, it not only generates power for the province, it sells its surplus at a profit. Additionally, Hydro Quebec is the transmitter and local utility for the province.

Their President and CEO, Eric Martel, was paid $543,559 for his services in 2017.

He does more, provides a better product and gets paid less. I mean Martel barely cleared the raise that Lyash bagged for himself last year.

At a time when the people of Ontario are struggling with their hydro bills, when manufacturers are fleeing the province over the high cost of electricity, there is no way that the top person at Ontario Power Generation should be making that kind of salary.

Defenders of Lyash, if you can find one, would point to market forces and this is what a good CEO costs. Well then let them find that outrageous salary in the market and not running a government utility.

These sorts of issues have long plagued OPG and Hydro One as this article from CBC in 2013 shows.

And then, as now, Ontario was stuck paying outrageous salaries with poor results while Quebec, British Columbia, New York State and others paid lower salaries but had superior results from their utilities.

Let’s hope that this is one of the issues that gets fixed after Kathleen Wynne and her Liberals are replaced on June 7.

See also: Wynne’s bogus hydro tricks