The former PUB member is beating the Hydro (and now MPI) privatization drum again. This guy makes the Manitoba PC Party look like a bunch of socialists, but the Free Press seems to adore him: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/who-would-buy-manitoba...
He presents the most thin veneer of an argument based on sterotype and meaningless platitudes (the "click to buy internet generation" wants to privatize Hydro!) and ignores the overwhealing evidence that publicly owned electric utilities offer considerably lower rates and more reliable service than invester owned equivalents and that monopoly public auto insurance schemes are more efficient, have lower rates, and provide more generous benefits with much less headache (even the Toronto SUN admits as much: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/08/31/public-auto-insurance).
And don't believe for a minute that the robber-baron private equity firms and banks would not be falling all over themselves to get a piece of Hydro. A monopoly utility with 3 billion in annual revenue and hundreds of million in annual profit, are you kidding me?! Warren Buffet has said numerous time that electric utilities are some of the best investments and he is right. Plus, private owners would find numerous ways to squeeze more money out of Hydro: high rates, layoffs, spend less money of pole and wire maintenance. My province's (Alberta) private market-based electric sysetm is nothing but cash funnel that runs straight from ratepayers wallet into the clamouring paws of the province's 1%. Lane says under private ownership ratepayers don't pay for the utilties debt. What rubbish! Tell that to the ratepayers in central Alberta who just got hit with a big rate increase to pay for Altalink (SNC Lavalin) and ATCO's (overbudget) transmission lines.
He also says immigrants and younger people (the latter of which I am one) are just begging for auto insurance competition and private delivery (I'm sure he conducted numerous interviews and polls to come to this conclusion!). Yup, Manitoba's look jealously at Alberta, Onatrio, and Atlantic Canada's auto insurance market. When was the last time an insurance company in Toronto gave its policyholders a rebate?! Insurance (along with electricity) rates are skyrocketing in the private insurance provinces. Manitoba's rate have gone up for the first time since 2004!
Shame on the Free Press for printing such lies.