Ministry of Finance
November 17, 2014
Ontario is continuing to pursue opportunities to unlock economic value from its assets. Maximizing the value of provincial assets would provide resources to invest in new transit and transportation infrastructure to help expand the economy, improve competitiveness and productivity, and create jobs for Ontarians.
Key provincial assets being reviewed by the government include:
The government will not sell public assets for the purpose of meeting operating budget shortfalls. Net revenue gains from asset sales will flow to the Trillium Trust to help build a new generation of public infrastructure, including roads, bridges and transit.
By making smart business decisions that maximize the value of Ontario’s assets, the government is making public dollars go further for the people of Ontario.
In April 2014, the government appointed the Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets to provide recommendations for maximizing the value of key provincial assets. The principles guiding the council’s work are to ensure:
The council is of the view that the government should retain ownership of OPG, Hydro One and the LCBO. The council agreed with the government’s overall strategy to consider divesting non-core assets if it is in the public interest to do so. Maintaining provincial ownership of core assets remains a priority for delivering key services to the public. The council’s findings highlight opportunities to improve the operations and performance of each government business enterprise (GBE) under review, ensure their long-term sustainability and bring greater returns to Ontarians.
The government is supportive of the council’s initial findings, which include:
Another area for improvement suggested by the council involves compensation practices at the LCBO, OPG and Hydro One. The council will work with its partners across these GBEs to ensure that agreements are sustainable and fair.
Following on the council’s initial findings and report, the government has instructed the council to move to the second phase of its review, which will include consultations with multiple stakeholders, bringing the council closer to its goal of reaching agreements that are pragmatic and, to the extent possible, supported by all parties.
With respect to beverage alcohol sales, the council will be guided by advice from government and external experts. It will work with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure to ensure that all recommendations comply with Ontario’s obligations under various trade agreements as well as trade and other laws. The council will also ensure that recommendations support the Province’s ongoing commitment to social responsibility.
With respect to Hydro One, the council will develop an implementation plan for the distribution businesses, including an analysis of potential transition implications and costs relating to the separation of the distribution and transmission businesses.
The council’s final recommendations, expected by the spring of 2015, will help inform the 2015 Ontario Budget.
The government is moving forward with measures to extract greater value from its real estate portfolio, including:
The government’s review of key government assets is part of the fiscally responsible core of a four-pillar economic plan to build up Ontario. Additional revenues from provincial assets will help build modern infrastructure, one of the four pillars of Ontario’s economic plan.
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