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  • Ontario Place lease locks us into the Premier’s mistakes

QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to reports that the government has signed a 95-year lease with Therme to build a private spa at Ontario Place.

“A century-long lease to a private Austrian corporation does not serve the people of Ontario.

We already know how this story goes. The Harris government made the same mistake when they sold off Highway 407 – now generating billions of dollars for a private Spanish consortium – more than 20 years ago.

The Premier himself has admitted that the 407 sale was not in Ontarians’ best interest. So why is he so eager to make the same mistake twice with the sell-off of Ontario Place?

We know that privatizing precious public space is not the way to build livable, family friendly communities.

If we want Ontario Place to truly be a place for all, we need to lead with public space.
We have an opportunity to build a much-loved waterfront that respects the park’s initial vision – to revitalize the intricate urban landscape just as we did with Trillium Park and the William G. Davis Trail.

The government’s redevelopment plan is an egregious affront to this vision, and a squandered opportunity to create an expansive public park that could be enjoyed by generations to come.

We know that our province needs communities where everyone can afford a place to live, where they can be close to good jobs, transit options, green spaces and functional public services.

We’ll keep fighting to keep public space in public hands.”

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