Apr 16, 2015

By Jane Brown

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A recommendation to sell off 60 percent of Hydro One is reportedly part of the report to be released today by Kathleen Wynne’s privatization guru Ed Clark, the former TD Bank CEO.

The Toronto Star says the transaction would provide $16-billion for the governing Liberals to bankroll into new transit infrastructure.  Queen’s Park would retain a 40 percent stake and minority shareholders will be limited to a 10 percent ownership.

We Ontarians will also find out from Ed Clark’s panel, how the government plans to liberalize the way beer is sold in this province.

Premier Kathleen Wynne says changing how the foreign-owned Beer Store operates is an “entry point to levelling the playing field.”

The Premier wants to see more access to Ontario’s craft brewers, who feel The Beer Store makes it difficult and expensive to list their products in its outlets.

This is good news for Steve Beauchesne of the Ontario Craft Brewers.  He told The New AM 740’s Goldhawk Fights Back, craft brewers have had longstanding issues with how the Beer Store works.

“One of the them is definitely the cost to list your beer…and another very big problem has been that when you pay for your listing, you really only get your beer in the back of the warehouse, there’s no way for the customer to ever see it, because they only put the owners’ brands out front, so it’s certainly something we’ve been asking for, for quite some time, is fairness and equal footing at The Beer Store,” Beauchesne explained.

It’s expected the upcoming provincial budget will outline a proposal to sell beer in a third of Ontario’s grocery stores.

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