Facts scorched in tale of two utilities

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO - A Mississauga councillor has defended the extra salary he gets for sitting on the city's hydro board by saying comparisons with Toronto Hydro are unfair and unmerited.

"Toronto is a lemonade stand. We are IBM," said Nando Iannicca of Enersource Corp., formerly Mississauga Hydro, during an energetic council discussion recently.

Toronto Hydro, in fact, is a much larger operation. City politicians who sit on its board get no extra pay for their services.

Iannicca was defending the $33,000 to $44,000 income supplement that Mississauga councillors get to sit on the Enersource board, saying they deserve compensation for their contributions.

He said a big difference between the two utilities is that Enersource, which can issue bonds, is subject to Ontario Securities Commission scrutiny and the onerous responsibility of "continuous disclosure."

However, Toronto Hydro spokesperson Tanya Bruckmeller said her utility also has public debt and is monitored in the same way by the OSC.

Iannicca later said his comments on Toronto Hydro's OSC status were based on information provided to him by Enersource staff.

For the fiscal year of 2005, Enersource reported revenues of $793,083,000, while Toronto Hydro's were more than triple that at $2,612,585,000.

The discussion followed the council's decision to raise its representation from two to four seats on the 10-member board of Enersource, which is 90 per cent owned by the city.

Mayor Hazel McCallion, the council's other representative on the Enersource board, then called for a review of the payment structure, because of general inconsistencies in how councillors are rewarded for taking on extra duties.


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