Former finance minister urges Ontario to pursue privatization of public services

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TORONTO - Former finance minister Dwight Duncan is urging the Ontario government to work with the private sector to deliver public services at less cost.

The cash-strapped Liberals are running an $11.3-billion deficit and have doubled the debt to $272 billion since they took office in 2003.

Duncan says it's time to look at more efficient ways to provide services when the province is facing a growing debt, an aging population and other pressures.

He says many countries have saved money by working with private companies on prison management, health and administrative services, but Ontario is lagging behind.

Duncan, who left provincial politics last year to join the private sector, says he tried to encourage contracting out of some services when he was finance minister, but he couldn't always convince his colleagues to do it.

His successor, Charles Sousa has created an advisory panel to find ways of getting more value out of key public assets such as the Liquor Control Board, Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One.

Organizations: Liquor Control Board, Ontario Power Generation, Hydro One

Geographic location: Ontario, TORONTO

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