Possible sale of utility brings public meeting – Ontario News

Possible sale of utility brings public meeting – Ontario News

WASAGA BEACH — No one can accuse Wasaga Beach of having apathetic citizens.

The Wasaga Beach council chamber was filled to standing room only again at Tuesady’s meeting, many of whom support the Keep Wasaga Hydro Public group.

Mayor Brian Smith began the meeting by calling for respect from members of the audience and read the pertinent section of the procedural bylaw, saying that hecklers will be asked to leave.

The public consultation process regarding the possible sale of Wasaga Distribution Inc. has begun with a staff report calling for a public meeting in late April that would include seven speakers including Mark Rodger, a lawyer with Borden Lander Gervais LLP, who has a specialization in the sale of hydro utilities.

The staff report also calls for an expenditure of up to $45,000 that would cover the cost of the presentation and an online, telephone and in-person survey of public opinion regarding the possible sale of the town owned hydro utility, but the final decision will be made by council.

Since the sale was proposed to council last October, where Rodgers was one of the presenters supporting the sale, about 8,000 Wasaga Beach residents have signed a petition against the sale.

Robert Bortlisz said during the comment period that Wasaga Hydro is a “blue-chip stock that everyone would want to hold.”

“A public meeting is a waste of time and money,” he said, adding that perhaps the town should retain ownership and grow it rather than sell it.

Former Wasaga Beach Coun. Morley Bercovitch said that council asks for respect but doesn’t give any to the citizens.

“This council has not respected the 7,000 people who…

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