The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) has announced that it applauds Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s decision of the partial sale of Hydro One to finance desperately needed infrastructure such as transit ahead of next week’s provincial budget.
In a report, former deputy minister Michael Fenn recommended selling Crown assets to finance critical infrastructure. He wrote the report for RCCAO in December.
The report, titled “Unlocking Ontario’s Advantages: Building New Infrastructure on the Foundation of Existing Public Assets,” was intended to provide advice to both the Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets being chaired by Ed Clark, and to the Ontario Government.
RCCAO Executive Director Andy Manahan commended the province for “moving forward on an issue which is long overdue: determining whether capital assets held or controlled by the province can be leveraged in order to provide better returns to taxpayers.”
“The Wynne government has taken a brave stance by unlocking the value of assets. While some of these legacy assets made sense being in government hands at one time, there is merit in assessing whether the value of these assets can be unlocked and redirected to infrastructure investment through the Trillium Trust and Moving Ontario Forward funds,” he added.
According to Premier Kathleen Wynne, this was an important decision to make now to position Ontario to thrive long into the future. She reiterated her government’s pledge to invest $130 billion in infrastructure over 10 years.
Manahan was appointed to the Premier’s Transit Panel in 2013. He stressed that the Panel’s report “Making the Move” cited “hard truths” about funding transportation and recommended “sharing the cost” among different user groups. RCCAO supports the use of other revenue sources such as High Occupancy Toll lanes. HOT lanes will not only deliver revenues but also have an impact on congestion.
“Highway tolls encourage travel behaviour change,” Manahan said.