“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.
If the Tories thought that yesterday’s new health care white paper was likely to change the channel on the byelection defeats, they likely woke up this morning disappointed.
Despite health care’s long standing ranking as the number one issue among Ontarians, there was little media coverage of the white paper.
Of those that did comment, most appear baffled by the plan.
Health Minister Deb Matthews wondered why the paper had been authored by deputy health critic Bill Walker, and not Christine Elliott, who has far more experience in the health care portfolio.
Carping: Complain or find fault continually, typically about trivial matters. (The Free Dictionary)
Recently the Toronto Star’s Queen’s Park columnist Martin Regg Cohn wrote a fawning column about Don Drummond, the ex-banker invited by Dalton McGuinty to tell us how we can better deliver public services and eliminate a $16 billion deficit.
At the end of the column Cohn writes: “Yet despite carping from public sector unions and the NDP, Drummond is struck by a public perception that change is inevitable.”