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Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals will sell off 60 per cent of the province’s $16-billion Hydro One transmission utility
Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals will sell off 60 per cent of the province’s $16-billion Hydro One transmission utility to bankroll new transit infrastructure, the Star has learned.
Queen’s Park will retain a 40 per cent stake and minority shareholders will be limited to a 10 per cent ownership, sources say. At the same time, Hydro One Brampton and Hydro One Networks’ distribution arm will be spun off into a separate company and sold outright for up to $3 billion.
The Hydro One changes — and a plan to allow the sale of beer in about 300 supermarkets — are key recommendations in a major report to be released Thursday by Wynne’s privatization guru Ed Clark, the former TD Bank CEO.
Insiders confide that Wynne will immediately accept Clark’s findings and move forward ahead of Finance Minister Charles Sousa’s April 23 budget.
All proceeds will go toward a 10-year, $29 billion infrastructure plan that includes $15 billion to build public transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
Wynne defended the Hydro One partial privatization, saying it’s a “very different process” than the full sell-off the Progressive Conservative administration had planned in 2002 because Ontario will keep the largest single ownership stake and maintain regulatory and price control.
“We cannot sacrifice our future prosperity and our future economic health by not investing in infrastructure,” said the premier, noting she “ran on a review of assets” in the June 2014 election.
“It’s much more difficult to imagine a future where we don’t invest in infrastructure, where we don’t build the roads and the bridges in the north that we know are needed, that we don’t build the public transit that we know is needed in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area,” she said.
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