The written word is devalued no more. Michael Gourley, an in-sider with Ontario’s former Conservative government, received $105,000 from Crown-owned Hydro One in an untendered contract, and the only written record of his work is a one-page e-mail. For that price, you might expect T.S. Eliot. But no, there was no “patient etherized upon a table” in this prosaic message. Not unless you count the taxpayer, from whose helpless form all those dollars were removed.
And many more besides. In all, Hydro One, which owns Ontario’s electrical transmission system, paid a handful of Tory insiders $5.6-million in untendered contracts for advice on how to privatize the public utility. The Globe’s Martin Mittelstaedt has now managed to obtain, through freedom-of-information requests, copies of the work that Hydro received in return. For those who care about how public policy is made, these pages offer a cynic’s tour on the inside.