Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ontario Liberals look like Harper Conservatives

What next? The Liberals will sell off crown corporations even when they provide the province with all sorts of income. However, the Liberal party will get some income into its own coffers when it offers the private sector public enterprises at firesale prices. It seems to make no difference whether Liberals or Conservatives are in power they are all for making sure their corporate friends make all the profits and not the province. Although there will be a one time windfall from the sales that could be used to pay down the debt there will be a decrease in income for the province in perpetuity from the money that would have come in from Lottery and Liquor Board profits. This does not matter as long as there is more opportunity for private profit and subsequent donations to the Liberal cause. This is from the National Post.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ontario looks to sell assets to bring down $25-billion debt

Ashley Fraser
TORONTO - To offset a record $25-billion deficit, Ontario's premier said Wednesday he's considering selling the province's most prized assets, which include utility Hydro One, the liquor control board and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.

"We've got a responsibility to take a look at all of our assets to make sure that we're getting the best bang for our buck," Dalton McGuinty said at Queen's Park Wednesday. "Especially now in the context of a recession and a significant deficit."

The highly profitable LCBO and OLG are just some of the cash cows that could be sent to market.

The liquor board delivered $1.4 billion dollars last year and the lottery and gaming corporation has been a multibillion-dollar cash cow for years.

Opposition leaders however slammed McGuinty for what they consider changing his tune, saying that in opposition he vowed the province was through selling off public assets.

"This is an unprincipled government," said Progressive Conservative opposition member Peter Shurman. "It's been called the worst government ever in Ontario and it's proving those words are absolutely true."

"It's a quick cash grab for the government," argued Ontario New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath. "People will pay through the nose in the long run."

The government has hired experts with CIBC and Goldman Sachs to estimate the value of the Crown assets to make sure taxpayers get fair value if there's a sale.

Some observers note the announcement could be a trial balloon designed to gauge public appetite for the idea and doesn't automatically mean the sales will take place.

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