'We will vigilantly monitor any moves by the McGuinty Liberals to ensure that this ‘restructuring’ doesn’t involve revenue-generating, publicly-owned corporations being stripped away from the people of Ontario.'
Toronto (13 July 2010) - The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) is applauding the announcement by Finance Minister Dwight Duncan that the planned partial sell off of valuable Crown assets has been scrapped.
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says he is glad that McGuinty Liberals have finally realized that selling off assets that generate revenue for the province is, and always will be, a very bad idea.
At stake were lucrative Crown corporations such as the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) corporation. The province had been considering combining them into a 'supercorporation' and selling off a partial stake to private interests.
“Together, these four Crown Corporations earn over $4 billion a year in pure profit for the people of Ontario,” Thomas notes.
“Selling off all or part of these assets would be short-term gain for long-term pain. The government would get a one-time cash injection but lose the revenue stream from those assets. For good.”
Denise Davis, chair of OPSEU’s Liquor Board Employees Division, which represents workers at the LCBO, said that any privatization of Ontario’s liquor sales is an idea that should be buried forever.
“Every time an Ontario government needs quick cash, they raise the possibility of selling the LCBO,” Davis says. “From both a profit and a safety standpoint, it is nothing but a foolish move that would ultimately hurt this province.”
Thomas says that despite the latest announcement, OPSEU will continue to scrutinize the government’s plans in the weeks and months to come.
“Duncan has said his government will be going ahead with the ‘restructuring of smaller assets’ and won’t identify what those assets will be,” Thomas notes.
“We will vigilantly monitor any moves by the McGuinty Liberals to ensure that this ‘restructuring’ doesn’t involve revenue-generating, publicly-owned corporations being stripped away from the people of Ontario.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE