Hydro-Québec’s CEO should stop awarding L’effet A training contracts to her husband John Gallagher’s company.
My colleagues Francis Halin, Marie Christine Trottier and Charles Mathieu reported yesterday that Hydro-Québec purchased $250,000 worth of L’effet A contracts since the appointment of Mr. in April 2020.me Brochu at the head of the state company.
Hydro-Québec can say that “Sophie Brochu did not intervene in any way likely to promote Effect A, these decisions were never her responsibility”, this smacks of an apparent conflict of interest, no offense to the Hydro bonzes.
In its defense, Hydro-Québec adds that the company “has been registering participants in L’effet A since 2016, when Éric Martel was CEO.”
How does the award of 87 L’effet A contracts during the 5 years of Mr. Martel’s government justify the award of 134 contracts under Mr.me Broch, who has been in office for 2 1⁄2 years?
The context is completely different. Éric Martel has no connection with L’Effect A du Spouse de Sophie Brochu. Which is obviously not the case with Hydro’s CEO.
BROHU, LEADER IN EFFECT A
To show you the extent to which Hydro-Québec and its CEO have painted themselves into a corner, here is the link between Ms. Brochu and L’effet A reported on the state corporation’s website under the “Governance” hat, where board members and senior management are introduced.
After compiling an extensive biography of Mme Brochu, Hydro-Québec dares to praise the connection between its CEO and her husband’s company: “In addition, as stated, she acts as the head of L’effet A, an initiative aimed at promoting the presence of women at all levels of organizations.”
There’s no doubting this claim that she’s the “leader of the A effect”: the CEO of Hydro has even taken the “30-day Masterclass with Sophie Brochu” training course, which has so far brought in almost $50,000 for her husband’s company.
HYDRO GETS ITS “MASTERCLASS”
Moreover, my colleagues Halin, Trottier and Mathieu announced yesterday that Mr.me Brocha herself “animated” the training courses purchased by Hydro. Nothing less.
In fact, in 2021, seven Hydro-Québec employees participated in a “30-day masterclass with Sophie Brochu” offered by L’effet A, for a total of $4,595.
Let’s face it, Hydro is pushing the envelope a little too far with L’effet A’s “30 Day Master Class with Sophie Brochu”!
But… There’s nothing there for Hydro. “Our organization’s governance and ethical rules are firm, it is not true that we are going to deprive women of relevant training for their professional development, be it L’effet A training or otherwise.”
Participants-managers who completed the training course “100-Day Challenge, The A Effect” by Ms.me Brochure, comes from
various vice presidents and other Hydro administrative units.
The cost per participant is generally $2,250.
Effect A most “attracts” the departments: Information and Communication Technology, Human Resources, Risk Management, Planning/Strategy/Expertise, Communications/Government and Aboriginal Affairs.
And as for Hydro-Québec’s other administrative units, the participants came from the “Corporate Affairs, Legal and Governance” group, among others; of Hydro-Québec Distribution and Shared Services, Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie, Hydro-Québec Innovation Production, Hydro-Québec Production.
CODE OF ETHICS
According to Article 5.4.2 “Conflict of interest – Incompatible interests” of Hydro‐Québec’s CODE OF ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT for directors and officers, a director or officer “must avoid being in a situation where he or a person related to him could directly or indirectly benefit from a situation or transaction involving the Company”.
As “Leader of Effect A”, Sophie Brochu must demand that Hydro-Quebec stop buying the training offered by her husband’s company.