Article by Mike Crawley, CBC News
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s go-to business adviser will be named the new chairman of the LCBO Thursday, with the agency poised to oversee the retailing of cannabis in the province.
CBC News has learned that Ed Clark is to be nominated as chair of the LCBO’s board of directors. Clark spent 12 years as president and CEO of TD Bank Group and has more recently been central to some of the Wynne’s government’s biggest policy decisions.
A panel led by Clark advised the Liberals to privatize Hydro One, only months after initially recommending keeping the transmission utility in the government’s hands. Clark’s panel also provided the report that led to the sale of beer and wine in grocery stores.
Clark was appointed as the premier’s business adviser in June 2015. He is currently leading Ontario’s bid to woo Amazon’s new headquarters to the province. A government source said Clark will retain both roles and his compensation as LCBO chair will be a symbolic $1 a year.
The LCBO board supervises the agency’s business affairs and draws up its strategic plan. Chairing that will be Clark’s role, while day-to-day operations are managed by the agency’s president and CEO.
The post means that Clark will have a strategic planning role in the new Ontario Cannabis Retail Corp., the marijuana sales agency that will be run as a subsidiary of the LCBO. The agency will be the sole legal retailer of recreational marijuana in the province. It is to have 40 storefronts and an online sales system open by July 1, when pot is to be legalized across Canada.