Oct 17, 2014

By Bob Komsic

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The LCBO, Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation should all be retained by the province.

That recommendation from an advisory panel set up to examine the possible sale of the Crown Corporations.

The panel is still doing its work but is unanimous in making that suggestion.

Its only move towards privatization is to have Hydro One focus strictly on electricity transmission and to get out of the local distribution business, which the panel figures would bring in as much as $3-billion in private sector investment.

Chair Ed Clark, president and CEO of TD Bank Group, says private sector capital should be used to change an ”unnecessarily cluttered and fragmented” system of more than 70 local electricity distributors to consolidate the sector and make it more efficient.

The panel also feels Ontario Power Generation should be split in two – with one entity focusing on the refurbishment of the Darlington nuclear generating station, while the other looks after hydro-generated electricity business.

It’s also recommending changes to the way booze is priced and marketed – like allowing the LCBO to sell 12-packs instead of just six-packs of beer, but cases of 24 should still only be sold by the Beer Store.

The New Democrats plan to introduce a motion Monday that would require a public referendum before any government could sell off the LCBO, OPG, Hydro One or Ontario Lottery and Gaming.

A report from the panel is due the end of the year.


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