Ignoring the 83 per cent of Ontarians who oppose the measure, the Ontario Liberal government is forging ahead with the final phase of its plan to sell off a major stake in Hydro One. The sell off will reduce the publicly-owned stake of Hydro One to 40 per cent.
The latest push, announced by Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault in early May, releases 120 million shares at $23.24 and is expected to raise another $2.8 billion for the government. The 60 per cent share of Hydro One being sold raises some $500 million annually for the province.
Both the Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats have blasted the Hydro One transactions as a “fire sale,” calling for the government to reverse course.
“Families, business owners, municipalities, NGOs – they have all told the premier, loud and clear to stop this wrong-headed sell-off,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said in question period following the latest announcement. “Why does the premier insist on moving ahead with this ridiculous sell-off?”
Critics say the short-sighted sell-off prioritizes short term gains, leaving future governments to make up for the revenue shortfall for generations to come.