TORONTO, Feb. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Today's announcement by the Ontario government that they will close most of Ontario Place for "re-vamping" raises some disturbing questions as to the future of the province's premier showplace.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, says that, from all appearances, Premier Dalton McGuinty has just put some of the most valuable real estate in Toronto on the auction block.
"The government is quoted as saying that 'everything is on the table' and that they 'will entertain private-sector investment'," Thomas said. "With John Tory advising Queen's Park, you can be fairly sure that it won't be long before Ontario Place becomes a private-for-profit venture."
Thomas says this closure is a sad day for the province due to the deliberately vague messages being given to the people of Ontario.
"The government is saying Ontario Place will be closed for up to the next five years," Thomas said. "Neither will they confirm or deny that the Cinesphere will be demolished. Rumours of a new casino or more waterfront condos could result in permanent transformation of this landmark area into just another cluster of concrete and steel towers."
Thomas accuses the McGuinty Liberals of not looking long-term into what will benefit Ontarians. "There are profits to be made from entertainment, if the government made the investment," Thomas said. "Instead, the Ontario Liberals will hand over a provincial asset to the private sector, a move that is irrevocable. Cash that would have come to the government will instead go to private investors. And one more provincial icon will be gone forever."
For further information:
Don Ford, OPSEU Communications 416-448-7442