Panel recommends Ontario keep public ownership of LCBO, OPG and Hydro One
TORONTO - An advisory panel set up to examine a possible sale of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation recommends the province retain ownership of all three Crown corporations.
Chair Ed Clark, president and CEO of TD Bank Group, says the panel is still doing its work, but is unanimous in recommending now all three companies remain in public hands.
Its only move towards privatization is to have Hydro One focus on electricity transmission and get out of the local distribution business, which the panel estimates would bring in $2 billion to $3 billion in private sector investment.
Clark says private sector capital should be used to change an "unnecessarily cluttered and fragmented" system of more than 70 local electricity distributors to consolidate the sector and make it more efficient.
The panel also says Ontario Power Generation should split into two entities, with one to focus on the refurbishment of the Darlington nuclear generating station while the other looks after hydro-generated electricity business.
It also recommends some changes to the way booze is priced and marketed, such as allowing the LCBO to sell 12-packs of beer instead of just six-packs, but it says cases of 24 still should only be sold by the Beer Store.