June 14, 2024
Ford government doesn't like 407 deal, but won't break it (yet)
The Ontario Liberals promised to look at the Hwy 407 contract when elected in 2003.
The Ontario Liberals promised to look at the Hwy 407 contract when elected in 2003.

Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli will not commit to legislating an end to the controversial Hwy. 407 lease, despite defending that tactic to break a contract with The Beer Store.

Killing the previous Liberal government’s “sweetheart” deal with the foreign-owned Beer Store — one he argues poorly serves consumers — is a good use of the House’s powers, Fedeli said Tuesday.

“Right now, there’s a deal in place that’s so lucrative that you have all of the backroom insiders fighting, fighting to protect their turf,” Fedeli said.

“If we don’t do anything about this deal it will stay in place for six more years and stop choice and convenience and fairness in the province of Ontario.”

The 99-year Hwy. 407 lease signed by the previous Progressive Conservative government has too been long been criticized, most recently by Premier Doug Ford who said the tollway should never have been sold.

Fedeli was asked if his government would be prepared to use legislation to back out of the 407 contract which sold the highway in 1999 for $3.1 billion — roughly the equivalent of a 10% stake today — leading to expensive tolls for motorists.

“We’re very busy as you can imagine right now with bringing beer and wine into corner stores,” Fedeli said in response.

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See Also:

(1) Ontario’s move to more competitive alcohol could have a national domino effect

(2) Tory ignores reform options while fighting PC cuts

(3) Ford was right to delay funding cuts

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