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article imageOp-Ed: Court rules former CEO must live on pension of $25,637 a month

By Stephanie Dearing     Jun 30, 2009 in Politics
Former Hydro One CEO, Eleanor Clitheroe, lost her bid to have her pension from the Province of Ontario increased. Instead of the $33,644 she wanted, she will have to make do with a pension of $25,637 a month when she retires.
Ex-Hydro One CEO, Eleanor Clitheroe, was in court to fight a decision made by the Government of Ontario to cap pension payouts in the future. Specifically, Clitheroe wanted her pension to be increased to $33,644 a month.
Seriously? A certain portion of Ontario's population would consider themselves very fortunate indeed to have an annual income of $25,637 - let alone per month. Per month? Oh, the things I could do with that money!
Clitheroe was fired - that's right, fired - from her job as head of Hydro One. In the world the rest of us live in, if you get fired from your job, you do not pass go, you do not collect (excluding pension funds accumulated, of course). Heck, you'd be lucky to qualify for Welfare in Ontario if you actually got fired from your job, being as that is viewed as something that is within your control.
So, she lost her bid in Ontario's Superior Court and must now find a way to eke out a comfortable retirement, when the time comes, on her $25 grand a month.
Humph. I look at the pension payouts that Clitheroe can anticipate receiving and think, well, her annual pension would provide annual incomes for twelve families. Not that $25,000 a year is a good living, but it allows a small family to get by - eat and pay the rent.
Clitheroe was fighting to get a pension payout of $33,644 per month. Now a Reverend serving an Oakville parish, she had been a lawyer before turning her sights to politics. Before her humiliating dismissal, she had a distinguished career, serving with the Government of Ontario since 1990, culminating in her being appointed the Chancellor of the University of Western Ontario in 2000.
Clitheroe's troubles began after the public learned that she and other Hydro One executives stood to gain millions with the privatization of Hydro One. Her salary as CEO of Hydro One was $2.2 million a year. On top of her salary and the money she would gain from the sale of the facility, it was also revealed that she was billing the government for some of her expenses, such as for her limousine service.
It is indeed more than ironic that this privileged woman who is now a Reverend would pursue more potential income from an ignoble period in her life. Given her new vocation, one might be excused for thinking that she may have developed a tad of concern for the circumstances of those in her province that are not as well off as she is. It is difficult to generate any sympathy for a woman who continues to seek what she sees as her rightful entitlement when thousands of Ontarians are trying to struggle their way through poverty and a nasty recession. It appears that Clitheroe hasn't yet been forced to live in the world the majority of Ontarians must live in. Pity.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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