Friday, August 14, 2009

Hydro-Quebec Boss Unlikely to Survive Scandal

Had Thierry Vandal quickly apologized and taken responsibility for his lack of judgement in the donation scandal now swirling around him and Hydro-Quebec, he might have survived, but like Martha Stewart, he's going to pay the price of the coverup which is presently going on.

Hydro-Quebec's decision to give $250,000 to Collège Notre-Dame, to upgrade it's sports facilities, is appalling enough, considering that the school is Mr. Vandall's alma mater and of which he just happens to be the president of the board of directors, but defending the gift is beyond the pale.

The BS that is pouring forth from the Hydro-Quebec building on Rene Levesque Street in Montreal exposes the fact that the princes who run the public corporation are unaccustomed to account for their actions and their sad attempt at public relations is as laughable as it is pitiful.

Our advice to you--Better get professional spin doctors in ASAP, but it may already be academic.

When the story first broke in La Presse, a Hydro-Quebec spokesman François Taschereau, denied that Mr. Vandal was involved in the decision to give the donation. This lie was corrected the next day when the corporation realized that the truth would probably come out and so Hydro-Quebec then admitted that the president might have been in the loop.

The spokesman then defended the donation to the private school by pointing out that the sports facilities funded by Hydro-Quebec would be available to the public when school was out for the summer. He went on to say that Hydro had already approved a similar request for upgrading facilities at another school, but refused to name the facility, nor the amount pledged. Arghhh!.......

If that is true, the donation to the other 'school' was no doubt an attempt to make the first donation seem legitimate.

Marcus Tabachnick, Lester B. Pearson school board's director, commented that when he approached Hydro Quebec for a donation to its Pearson Electrotechnology Centre, something Hydro-Quebec would certainly be interested in considering the shortage of electricians, Hydro's response was- "We don't fund schools"

A greater issue here is why does Hydro-Quebec give out donations, or provide sponsorship money for public events ?

Come to think of it, Why on Earth does Hydro-Quebec sponsor the Zambonis that clean the ice between periods at the Montreal Canadiens hockey games at the Bell Centre? Advertising is meant to encourage people to use your product instead of competitors. Hydro has no competitors. Could it be that the Zambonis are part of a package that includes an executive box, one that Hydro bosses can use for their personal benefit?

The company is a state monopoly with the mandate to produce and sell electricity for the benefit of Quebeckers, so what business do Hydro executives have donating money that belongs to taxpayers?

That's the job of the government.

If the education department wanted to fund Collège Notre-Dame, they could do it themselves, full well in the knowledge that they'd have to face the consequences of their decision to fund a private institution in Parliament or at election time.

Just because Hydro-Quebec makes money for the government, doesn't give it the right to spend money as they see fit.

How would the public feel if Revenue Quebec started doling out money to their favorite private schools or paint up the Zambonis in the Bell Centre with a big "REVENU QUEBEC" logo, after all, they also raise a lot of money for the government?

Mr. Vandal will likely not survive the scandal.

With the opposition parties screaming for his head, Jean Charest has no political upside in defending Mr. Vandal.

For Vandal it's resign or be fired.

Not to worry, there's probably a huge golden parachute waitng for him.

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