Deborah Whale has been appointed a director on the Ontario Power Authority just as it’s in the political crosshairs for extravagant salaries and pension benefits and about to hike hydro rates by 33 per cent over the next three years.
Whale was a defeated Liberal candidate in Wellington County, but is also a well-connected leader in the agricultural community.
She and her husband, Bruce, own Clovermead Farms Inc., a dairy, veal and field crops operation near Alma in Wellington County.
She has served as the Chair of the Agriculture Research Institute of Ontario, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, the Poultry Industry Council, and the Minister's Advisory Committee for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and on the Boards of Farm Credit Canada, the Ontario Institute of Agrologists and the Poultry Research Council.
She is on the boards of the Ontario Livestock and Poultry Council, the Agricultural Hall of Fame, the Biogas Association and Grand River Agricultural Society.
She is a daughter of the late George Jones, a high-profile plant breeder at the University of Guelph who strongly promoted corn production when it was still a minor crop in Ontario.
The Ontario Power Authority has been accused to being asleep at the switch as the ranks of senior executives, their salaries and perks increased.
The provincial auditor-general drew public attention to the situation and the energy minister immediately dismissed three of the senior executives and Premier Kathleen Wynne promised to keep a tighter rein on the executives.