March 22, 2019

Winnipeg
-2° C, Sunny

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Manitoba Hydro higher-ups in the hot seat over pay hikes

Darren Rainkie, interim president and CEO. (Wayne Glowacki / Winnipeg Free Press)

Darren Rainkie, interim president and CEO. (Wayne Glowacki / Winnipeg Free Press)

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/9/2015 (1283 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The chairman of Manitoba Hydro came under fire Tuesday for approving high salary increases to executives at a time when consumers have had to absorb a four per cent rate hike.

Bill Fraser was in the hot seat as he and interim Hydro president and CEO Darren Rainkie appeared before a committee of the legislature, where they were peppered with questions by Progressive Conservative MLAs.

MLA Ron Schuler (St. Paul) asked Fraser if it was fair that former president and CEO Scott Thomson received a pay increase of more than $111,000 over two years at a time when families, single parents and seniors are at best receiving cost-of-living pay increases and are forced to pay significantly higher hydro rates.

Thomson’s pay in 2012 was $373,571; by 2014 it had soared to $485,279, Schuler said.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 30 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/9/2015 (1283 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The chairman of Manitoba Hydro came under fire Tuesday for approving high salary increases to executives at a time when consumers have had to absorb a four per cent rate hike.

Bill Fraser was in the hot seat as he and interim Hydro president and CEO Darren Rainkie appeared before a committee of the legislature, where they were peppered with questions by Progressive Conservative MLAs.

MLA Ron Schuler (St. Paul) asked Fraser if it was fair that former president and CEO Scott Thomson received a pay increase of more than $111,000 over two years at a time when families, single parents and seniors are at best receiving cost-of-living pay increases and are forced to pay significantly higher hydro rates.

Thomson’s pay in 2012 was $373,571; by 2014 it had soared to $485,279, Schuler said.

"Is there a disconnect between what’s going on out there (in public) and what’s taking place in that beautiful shiny new building on Portage Avenue?" he asked Fraser, referring to Manitoba Hydro’s corporate headquarters.

Manitoba Hydro has been answering questions over its executive pay levels since earlier this summer when a union representing many of its employees, citing public disclosure documents, said senior Hydro managers and executives had received increases of 20 per cent or more in the past year.

In response to questions from MLAs, Fraser took issue with earlier media reports, saying the average salary increase to Hydro executives last year came to 7.2 per cent. He said the discrepancy could be explained by the fact there was an additional pay period in 2014 and that a "standby allowance" once paid to division managers and executives had been incorporated into their salaries.

He said the standby allowance, which ranged from $9,500 to $11,200 per year, was given in recognition that senior managers are on call 24/7. It had been in place for decades but no longer appears as a separate item on Hydro’s books.

Fraser allowed that a 7.2 per cent single-year raise was still "a significant pay increase," but that an outside consultant had found that Hydro executives salaries were in the bottom 10 percentile compared to those at similar corporations.

Hydro has said it decided to jack up its management pay scales to retain and attract the best people.

Schuler noted that when representatives of Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries appeared before the same committee they told MLAs that they had limited executive pay raises to the cost of living. They said that higher increases were not needed to retain top employees.

Meanwhile, in answer to a question from Conservative MLA Ralph Eichler (Lakeside), Fraser said that Thomson did not receive a severance package when he departed. He said Thomson would only have received pay for any unused vacation time.

Thomson was succeeded by Rainkie, the Crown corporation’s chief financial officer, on an interim basis earlier this month. He had held the top Hydro post for a little over three and a half years.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

Larry Kusch

Larry Kusch
Legislature Reporter

Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us