Gov’t agrees to sale of one-seventh of Hydro One
Premier Kathleen Wynne stormed ahead with the partial sell off of Hydro One Thursday just hours after receiving a dire warning from Ontario’s new fiscal watchdog that her plan makes no financial sense. The province announced late Thursday afternoon that it has agreed to sell about one-seventh of Hydro One for $1.66 billion, the beginning of a plan to eventually put 60% of the publicly owned company on the market. But earlier in the day, financial accountability officer Stephen LeClair, in his first report, said the government will create a $300-$500 million permanent hole in its annual budget that in the long run will plunge taxpayers into greater debt than if they just borrowed the money through regular channels. “This FAO is basically validating everything that municipalities have been saying, mayors, business people, chambers of commerce, of course the NDP, families, First Nations,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said. “Everybody is saying the same thing — this is a bad deal.” The Progressive Conservatives called on the Wynne government to halt the “fire sale” of Hydro One.