Ford government rejects proposed Hydro One CEO compensation file photo

The government of Ontario is saying “no way” to a proposal from Hydro One that would cap its CEO compensation at a little over $2.7 million.

A statement released Thursday morning from the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford said instead, the Ford government has issued a directive requiring the company to cap the pay for its new CEO at $1.5-million.

The cap includes a base salary of up to $500,000, with the remainder tied to short-term or long-term incentives.

The statement said the government-issued directive follows a proposal from Hydro One that included a compensation cap of $2.775 million, adding “it is clear that Hydro One’s Board of Directors has failed to take steps to adequately reduce compensation for both the CEO and themselves as board members.”

Thursday’s statement comes six months after the passage of the Hydro One Accountability Act, 2018, which came into effect in August last year, giving the province the power to issue directives governing the compensation of the directors at Hydro One.

The last CEO of Hydro One, Mayo Schmidt, retired after coming to an agreement with the Ontario government in July 2018. Before he left the company, Schmidt was dubbed the “$6 million man” by Premier Doug Ford due to his annual salary and bonuses.