Council to ask premier to
delay privatization of Ontario
City council will write to Premier Mike
Harris asking for a delay in disposition of the
Ontario Northland Transportation Commission to
allow Northern communities time to seek
Council unanimously supported a resolution
prepared by Coun. Denis Saudino to send copies
of a letter to the premier, the transportation
minister and the chairman of ONTC. Saudino said
the proposal for privatization or devolution
would take away the moneymaker ONTel and then
the rest just falls apart.
The former chairman of ONTC who served in the
job from 1991 to 1997, is strongly opposed to
it, he said.
The Crown corporation had already had budget
cutbacks beginning with the newly-elected Harris
government taking away $7 million when it took
power in 95 and then another cutback of $4
million the following year.
They (the government) basically tied their
(the ONTC) hands even though they continued to
make some money.
The corporation has positive points, Saudino
ONTel provides good service at less than half
the cost charged by Northern Tel in nearby
communities, he said.
Northland rail service has been in business
since the 1800s and should be preserved, he
This is a government that selling something
that they never paid anything for, said Coun.
Dennis Welin. The ONTC never paid a nickel for
any square inch of land.
The land belonged to Northerners. I think the
ONTC should be seen by the community and should
be seen by the people of Ontario as something
thats owned by the people of the North.