Fedeli eyes ONTC as finance critic (North Bay Nugget – September 10, 2013)


Secret documents that were blacked out and deemed classified information might see the light of day to learn more about the sale of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.

“Those are the kinds of documents I fully expect to see as finance critic,” said Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli. Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak tagged Fedeli as the new finance critic Tuesday in a move that is speculated to anticipate a fall election.

Fedeli remains as energy critic leading a committee looking into cancelled gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga ahead of the 2011 provincial election that cost the province $585 million.

Documents Fedeli accessed as energy critic indicate selling the ONTC is expected to cost $790 million mainly due to severance, pensions and other liabilities. The Liberals said selling the ONTC would save the province $265 million.

“I’m looking to find out how long this has been going on, how long ago did this fire sale first get hatched. Those are the issues that I find critical,” Fedeli said.

A freedom of information request to the finance ministry for all Ontario Northland divestment documents between Jan. 1, 2011 and Oct. 6, 2011, found there are 700 pages of documents which discuss divestment. Only 11 of those documents were released, and were almost entirely blacked out.

Fedeli said he wants to find out what’s written on those hundreds of pages.

The promotion will give him a better platform to fight for Northern issues which include repealing the Far North Act to allow for mining and development, and change Ontario’s Building Code to allow six-story wood construction instead of four storeys to create a demand for lumber.

The Liberal government announced Tuesday Ontario’s deficit for 2012-13 is $9.2 billion, or $5.2 billion lower than projected.

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