By Patrick Meagher
If your Hydro One bill still looks out of whack, you’re not alone.
More than one year ago, Ontario’s auditor general outlined a billing fiasco at Hydro One, the primary supplier of electricity to rural Ontario. But thousands of people are still complaining about being overcharged or not getting billed at all.
Premier Kathleen Wynne came to the rescue and appointed Sandra Pupatello (the runner-up to Wynne in the Liberal leadership race) to correct the problems. Wynne also decided to pay her $150,000 to do it. While collecting this awesome windfall, Pupatello kept her job as CEO of the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation, which pays her another six figure income. So, with two so important jobs I guess she works day and night and hasn’t slept since last June. Or she’s been laughing her way to the bank for months.
Did Ontario Hydro’s billing debacle really require Pupatello in the first place? There are 5,619 employees with Hydro One and nobody over there who can resolve a billing issue? There’s so much management at Hydro One that there is management and then there’s senior management. They’ve got six senior vice-presidents. Is the taxpayer expected to believe that the boys and girls in management and senior management at Hydro One just aren’t big enough to tackle the problem of billing their clients?
Everyone today likes to talk about how this job and that job is above their pay grade. If you look at the provincial government salary disclosures there are 81 pages of Hydro One employees earning more than $100,000 per year. That’s more than 3,800 employees earning more than $100,000. Yes, that’s almost 70 per cent of the staff earning more than $100,000. I wouldn’t mind having the job of pouring coffee over at Hydro One.
There’s got to be someone with the right pay grade over there that can fix a fundamental problem of billing. Had this happened in the free market private sector, the problem would have been resolved by now or the company would have closed its doors due to the enormity of consumer blowback. But no, billing the customer is too complicated for all 5,619 Hydro One workers. For this screw up you need a politician.
So, did Pupatello git’r done?
There are still 60,000 ratepayers with billing issues. God forbid, we discover the problem is above Pupatello’s pay grade.