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.