In 2005, Premier McGuinty set up the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) as a temporary agency. Today, that so-called temporary agency has ballooned from 14 employees to more than 300, and of those employees, 75 are on the sunshine list. A full 25% of the OPA’s payroll is making more than $100,000 a year. This bloated bureaucracy is now costing Ontario families more than $80 million each and every year.
In 2010, the Ontario Power Authority listed a job posting for a position of ‘hospitality coordinator’. This was to be another $100,000+ Sunshine List position for someone to operate the OPA hospitality program and coordinate meeting room set-ups. This person would order and coordinate catering for OPA events. Do you know anyone would be interested in applying for such a position? Well based on the current roster at OPA, it would seem only liberal insiders need apply.
The McGuinty Liberals, it seems, have decided to forgo the ‘temporary’ designation and keep the OPA as it has provided an excellent feeding trough for liberal supporters and insiders. It is complete with Liberal family ties going back three generations: the Premier’s former spokesman and, until recently, OPA vice-president of communications, Ben Chin; former Liberal leader and OPA vice-chair, Lyn McLeod; and former adviser to Liberal Premier David Peterson and OPA board member, Patrick Monahan.
Ben Chin was the vice-president of communications at OPA until his resignation in February 2011. He made $185,000 in 2009. He used to be Dalton McGuinty’s spokesperson.
Lyn McLeod is the vice-chair of the OPA. She is paid by the corporation. No per diem information is available, but we do know one thing: She was the former Liberal leader prior to Dalton McGuinty becoming Premier of Ontario.
Adèle Hurley is a board member at the OPA. Hurley is paid by the corporation. She is a former Liberal researcher.
Patrick Monahan is a board member at the OPA. He’s also paid by the corporation. He is a former adviser to Liberal Premier David Peterson.
Have you noticed that your hydro bill has become rather unaffordable? The McGuinty Liberals would have you believe it’s due to a push for ‘green energy’, yet isn’t it funny how they refuse to acknowledge the cronyism at the OPA, all on the backs of the ratepayers.
On March 28, 2011, a unified opposition voted to abolish the OPA and give ratepayers a break. The McGuinty liberals used their majority and voted instead to keep it in place. It would seem their supporters are entitled to their entitlements. Another example of the abuse taxpayers can expect if the Liberals get another majority this election!
With all these arm’s length agencies and boards proliferating everywhere, we wonder what are we paying the civil servants in the Ontario ministries for ?
The Hansard dialogue this article was based on and where Mr. Yakabuski questions this decision is here: