“The stealth privatization of Ontario’s gas plants over the past decade set the stage for the inevitable payouts that we now face for decades to come.” – Martin Regg Cohn, Toronto Star columnist, October 9, 2013
Has Kathleen Wynne really learned her lesson? With last week’s report raising the cost of the cancelled gas plants to $1.1 billion, you’d think it would give the government pause over similar privatization deals. That, after all, is the essence of why the cancelled gas plants cost so much. Ground had not even been broken on the Oakville site, the contracted company unable to secure construction permits from the municipality.
Ontario’s Premier called the cancellation a “big, bad mistake,” but much of the cost of these cancelled deals lies in the privatized structure the government chose to develop public infrastructure.
Only a week earlier the same government, supposedly humbled by this deal, announced that a different private consortium had been chosen the winner to build a new 30-year public-private partnership hospital in Kingston.