Ontario Auditor finds OPG generous salaries, pensions, bonuses push up electricity rates

TORONTO – Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk says salaries, pensions and bonuses at Ontario Power Generation are “significantly more generous” than for comparable positions in the public service, and have a financial impact on the cost of electricity.

Lysyk says OPG has cut staff by 8.5 per cent, but increased the size of “its highly paid executive and senior management group” by almost 60 per cent since 2005, creating “a top heavy organization.”

Incentive awards for OPG’s non-unionized staff can be up to $1.3 million, and their top five executives will be eligible for pensions ranging from $180,000 to $760,000 a year.

In her annual report. the auditor general also found it could cost the government up to $820 million or even more to divest itself of the Ontario Northland Transportation Corporation.

Lysyk also found school cafeteria sales plummeted up to 45 per cent since boards implemented healthier food choices, and there is no formal monitoring to ensure students in grades 1-though-8 get the required 20 minutes of daily physical activity.

She also reported the Ministry of Education provides “only limited oversight” of 1,000 private schools, which are not required to hire certified teachers, obtain criminal background checks on staff or follow the Ontario curriculum.

There are still 3.1 million of the old red-and-white health cards in circulation, 18 years after the government announced they would be eliminated to help reduce fraud.

Lysyk also says Ontario has quadrupled autism funding over the last decade but there are still more children waiting for government-funded services than there are children receiving them.

She also found there is little to no enforcement of regulations on hunting and fishing in provincial parks or on prohibited activities such as commercial timber harvesting and mining.

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