Charles Sousa mum on plan to wring billions from public assets

The Liberal government has a closely guarded plan to wring as much money out of its public assets as possible — $3.15 billion to be exact.


Rick Madonik / Toronto Star file photo

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, right, won't say what's in store for Crown corporations such as the LCBO and Hydro One.

The Liberal government has a closely guarded plan to wring as much money out of its public assets as possible — $3.15 billion to be exact — but Finance Minister Charles Sousa refuses to say what the government is up to.

Rather than say what the future is for Crown corporations, such as the LCBO, Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One, Sousa says all will be revealed when a panel led by TD Bank Group CEO Ed Clark reports back on how to maximize revenue from provincially-owned assets.

“They have the authority to look (at) and review specifically some of our Crown corporations and some of our asset holdings to make sure we are optimizing the value to our taxpayer . . . and we also want to ensure that the public interest is protected throughout this process,” he told reporters at Queen’s Park.

Sousa will say only that the province has no intention of selling off Crown corporations, not wanting to repeat the mistakes made when the former Progressive Conservative government of Mike Harris sold the rights to operate toll-Highway 407 for 99 years for $3.1 billion without public consultation just prior to the 1999 provincial election.

“That issue with the 407 is costing taxpayers about $1 billion in lost revenues every year,” he said.

Sousa said the province makes money off the LCBO, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., Hydro One and the OPG but “other jurisdictions, like the U.K. and Australia . . . have been able to nurture even greater value from those corporations . . . We want to do the same for the benefit of the taxpayers.”

Sousa would only say the government intends to sell off shares in General Motors, valued at more than a billion dollars, and provincially-owned properties. Ontario still holds 36.7 million GM common shares from its decision to help bail out the struggling automaker during the recession.

“The low-hanging fruit so to speak are the shares that we own, the real estate that we have, things that are not as productive as it can be,” he said.

Interim Tory Leader Jim Wilson said optimizing and maximizing are “code words for bodies out the door.”

“The number one formula for efficiencies are salaries and wages. So if I was an LCBO employee I would be worried about my job,” Wilson said.

“He shouldn’t be using these code words. He should be honest with the people of Ontario and with these employees whose jobs are on the line and tell them what he is up to.”

No date has been set for the Clarke panel to present its report to the government.





Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

Ontario residents have been ripped off for Billions of dollars by decades of corrupt politicians and in particular, decades of Liberal systemic corruption being the majority but the conservatives like Mike Harris did his share of many tens of billions of dollars of defrauding the public.

Right now, Ontario spends many Billions of Dollars directly and Indirectly funding the Worlds largest Criminal Organization, the Children's Aid Societies of Ontario.

These professional Criminals and Child Abusers swamp and overload the Judicial system from Criminal, to Family to Civil, and a fair chunk of police budgets are all spent on a Fascist Program of Gender Superiority and Family Destruction.

All Politicians can vote to save Ontario many Billions of Dollars by making Child Protection a fully accountable Government Department where the motivation is to serve and protect not run a blatant Criminal Cartel.

Ottawa Mens Centre