“Once you break an egg to make the omelet, it’s very hard to reverse.”
That’s Sarnia Lambton MPP Bob Bailey’s analysis after the provincial government moved forward selling off 13.6 per cent of Hydro One, despite a huge public outcry.
The public utility was offered on the Toronto Stock Exchange for the first time Nov. 5 and brought in $1.66 billion for the government. The Liberal government wants to fund transit infrastructure with the cash and plans to sell off 60 per cent of the utility while retaining 40 per cent control at the province.
Bailey, speaking a day after the stock offering, told The Independent it would be “next to impossible” to see that portion of the public utility bought back in the future.
“We were hoping that now, with the change in the federal government, the Premier would change her mind,” he says.
“We don’t know what we are going to do now,” Bailey adds saying “The goal now is the new federal government says it is going to spend billions of dollars – go into deficit – to fund infrastructure projects hopefully Ontario can tap into that.”
But he’s worried about the downside saying the Financial Accountability Officer has already said the province is overestimating how much the stock offering will bring in and that the Liberals have discounted the fact the province will lose $700 million in annual revenue because of the sale.
Bailey adds rural MPPs will have to work hard to make sure taxpayers here get some of the benefit of the sale of the important public asset getting some of the money from the sale of Hydro One which is earmarked for infrastructure to southern Ontario.
“Hopefully Premier Wynne won’t spend it all in Toronto.”