Infrastructure Ontario has released a request for qualifications inviting interested buyers to submit their qualifications to purchase and operate Ontera, a full service telecommunications company and the first of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) business lines to be put up for sale.
The start of the sales process is an important step in bringing further private sector investment to Northern Ontario where Ontera offers local and long-distance telephone service and cellular and internet service to homes and businesses. The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission will review any sale and ensure mandatory service obligations are addressed.
The request for qualifications process will pre-qualify and short-list potential buyers with the required experience, expertise and financial strength to operate Ontera. Short-listed buyers will be invited to respond to a request for proposal that will be issued later this year.
Infrastructure Ontario will ensure the sales process is fair and competitive, and overseen by a fairness monitor.
“The divestment of the ONTC is necessary to promote sustainable transportation and telecommunications services in the North, now and in the future,” said Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Northern Development and Mines. “This thorough and competitive sales process will ensure the buyer selected for Ontera is best able to meet provincial priorities to deliver telecommunications services, stimulate the economy, sustain jobs, and provide value for taxpayers.”
A copy of the request for qualifications is available at www.merx.com.
Infrastructure Ontario is working with the ONTC and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines to implement ONTC's divestment process.