Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak thinks selling off the LCBO is a good idea. Maybe it is, but it is too important, to coin an old Kim Campbell phrase, to be discussed in election time.

In the last year the LCBO posted sales of $4.7 billion, a  profit of $1.63 billion and taxes of almost three quarters of a billion dollars. That means we are getting close to 50 cents on a dollar of sales. There are few business in the private sector that have yields like that. Mind you the private sector has to deal with something called competition.

The government of which  Hudak was a member has not been very good when it comes to privatization. They sold the 407 ETR to foreign operators for a measly $2 Billion. Their breakup of hydro has been a dubious benefit. This is not an ideological argument for or against privatization. It is simply a plea to take the solution that leaves the most money on the table for beleaguered Ontario taxpayers.

LCBO fast facts

 

John Best had enjoyed a lengthy media management career, in television and radio and now print. As Vice President, News at CHCH in Hamilton, John oversaw a significant expansion of the news operation. He founded Independent Satellite News, Canada’s only television news service providing national content to Canadian independent TV stations. John is a frequent political commentator on radio and television, a documentary producer and author of a book and numerous articles on historical and political subjects. John is a past recipient of the New York Festival’s award for writing in the International TV category.

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