Globe and Mail, Adrian Morrow
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has pulled an iron curtain over Hydro One, ensuring one of the largest privatizations in the province’s history will unfold in secret.
The Liberals’ omnibus budget bill passed a final vote in the legislature Wednesday. The legislation, which will allow the government to start selling off the Crown corporation on the stock market later this year, contains a raft of clauses that remove public oversight of the company.
The bill strips the provincial auditor-general, financial accountability officer, ombudsman and several other independent watchdogs of their right to investigate Hydro One and resolve customer complaints. It also bars freedom-of-information requests and shields Hydro One employees’ salaries from the Sunshine List of provincial workers earning more than $100,000.
These provisions all take effect as soon as the bill is signed into law – even though none of the shares may be sold for months and the government could remain the company’s majority shareholder for years as it slowly sells down its stock. Read article