Skip to main content

Ottawa has appointed Ehren Cory, shown in this handout image, as the Canada Infrastructure Bank's new chief executive officer.Heather Pollock/The Canadian Press

The federal government has appointed Ehren Cory as the next CEO of the Canada Infrastructure Bank under sharply reduced terms for performance pay.

The new compensation package maintains the annual salary for the chief executive officer position at $600,000, but the maximum total pay including performance bonuses will be capped at $1.65-million in the fourth and fifth years. That’s a roughly 40-per-cent reduction from the maximum total pay of $2.8-million that previously applied to the position.

During the first three years, maximum performance pay is set at 50 per cent of salary.

“The compensation of the CEO is the result of an extensive benchmarking exercise against other private- and public-sector organizations who have a mandate to invest and manage substantial amounts of capital,” said bank spokesman Félix Corriveau in an e-mail Thursday after Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna announced Mr. Cory’s appointment via a news release.

Mr. Cory was president and CEO of Infrastructure Ontario, a provincial Crown agency. At the Canada Infrastructure Bank, Mr. Cory will be responsible for delivering on a recently announced plan that will see the bank focus on environmentally themed projects that aim to boost economic growth.

Mr. Cory spent eight years at Infrastructure Ontario, with the last four as CEO. He has also worked as a partner at McKinsey & Co. in Toronto.

The bank has been without a CEO since April 3, when the bank’s first chief, Pierre Lavallée, left the organization. His departure followed the December exit of the bank’s head of project development, François Lecavalier.

The leadership shake-up took place amid criticism the bank had been slow to deliver on its mandate to invest in large infrastructure projects that are in the public interest and that can attract funding from large institutional investors such as pension funds.

The bank revealed in its recent annual report that it paid $3.8-million in termination benefits during the fiscal year that ended March 31. The bank declined to say who received the payments, citing privacy considerations, but said the money went to more than one former employee.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the bank recently announced that, over the next two to three years, the bank will allocate $10-billion of its $35-billion. The plan will focus on a handful of specific areas, including electric buses, clean power, rural broadband, agricultural irrigation and building retrofits that reduce energy use.

The bank was created as a Crown corporation through legislation in 2017 based on recommendations from an independent advisory panel on economic growth. One of those panel members, former Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec CEO Michael Sabia, was appointed chair of the infrastructure bank in April. Mr. Sabia has acted as a high-profile face for the bank in recent months and has said that several projects the organization has been studying will soon be ready to be announced publicly.

One of those announcements was made in early October, when the bank pledged $407-million to improve irrigation in Alberta. The Saskatchewan government, which has been on caretaker status during the recently ended provincial election, has been in talks with the bank about a similar program.

Know what is happening in the halls of power with the day’s top political headlines and commentary as selected by Globe editors (subscribers only). Sign up today.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Pierre Lavallée left the Canada Infrastructure Bank on Feb. 3, based on information provided by the bank. In fact, Mr. Lavallée left on April 3. This story has been updated.