Whether you like it or not, the Ontario Liberals have begun their plan to sell off a chunk of Hydro One. It’s believed to be the biggest privatization of a Canadian Crown corporation in 20 years, despite widespread opposition and a poll (commissioned by the Wynne government) indicates most Ontarians are against the move.
Wynne is committed to sell off 60 percent of the crown corporation that could bring in $9 billion to Ontario’s bank account.
“Ontario is generating significant returns from broadening the ownership of Hydro One Limited, in order to help support the single largest investment in transit and transportation infrastructure in the province’s history – investing $130 billion over ten years and making 110,000 jobs possible each year.” a press release stated Thursday morning.
“There are many, many ways to pay for that infrastructure, and the Liberals have taken the worst possible decision” Anrea Horwath, Leader of the Ontario NDP said.
“It’s a one-time payout with long-term negative consequences” PC leader, Patrick Brown commented.
Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano and council has asked PUC to look into reducing the delivery charges on PUC bills to give customers a little break from soaring electricity prices that just went up on November 1 and again in the new year.
The Initial Public Offering (IPO) has now closed for Hydro One common shares. This initial stake in the company began trading today on the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”) under the symbol “H”. By proceeding in a careful, staged, and prudent manner over time, the government expects to realize $9 billion in proceeds, $4 billion of which will be invested in infrastructure and $5 billion to reduce debt.
The Province has offered 81,100,000 common shares at $20.50 per share for total gross proceeds to the Province of approximately $1.66 billion, in addition to an option granted to the underwriters, to purchase up to an additional 8,150,000 common shares, which would result in total gross proceeds of approximately $1.8 billion. Approximately 40 per cent of the offering has been allocated to individual retail investors, helping ensure that Ontarians from across the province can participate in the broadened ownership of Hydro One.
Many believe the move will open the door to ever increasing electricity rates for all residents and businesses in the Province, Ontario’s electricity rates are already known to be the highest in the country.
The government is committed to invest net revenue gains from the Province’s sale of Hydro One common shares into the Trillium Trust which, in turn, will be used to fund infrastructure projects that will create jobs and strengthen the economy. These proceeds will fund priority projects such as GO Transit Regional Express Rail, Light Rail Transit projects in communities across Ontario, and natural gas network expansion in rural and northern communities.
“Maximizing the value of Hydro One is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.” stated the release.