Former Ontario Premier David Peterson defended a bid from NordStar Capital LP to buy Torstar Corp. as "transparent" and "fair" while ensuring the 128-year-old publisher's progressive viewpoint will remain intact if the firm is successful in purchasing the company.

Peterson is part of a bid led by former Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. President Paul Rivett and Canadian entrepreneur Jordan Bitove — both of whom are partners at NordStar — to take Torstar private for 74 cents a share.

While a shareholder vote is scheduled to take place on July 21, a competing bid from Canadian Modern Media Holdings Inc. hasn’t been tabled to the voting trust.

"We have had total transparancy," Peterson told BNN Bloomberg in an interview Friday. "It's a very fair price. It has been totally transparent. It's been handled, I think well, with the voting trust."

Peterson said if NordStar is successful in winning the shareholder vote next week, he will be the vice-chair of the Toronto Star, which is published by Torstar. He said this move will ensure he is the "custodian of the Atkinson principles," a set of progressive policies closely followed by the newspaper that guides its coverage.

"We believe very strongly in them and we believe the Toronto Star is an excellent franchise that we can build on top of," he said.

Peterson's comments come after several calls for the Ontario Security Commission (OSC) to launch an investigation into the Torstar sale, including from Unifor National President Jerry Dias and the Ontario New Democratic Party.

Dias told BNN Bloomberg on Thursday that he spoke to Rivett and Bitove earlier this week and was assured that NordStar will not conduct mass layoffs or merge with Postmedia Network Canada Corp. if they successfully buy Torstar.

"I think anyone who has their finger in the pie has a leaning to the right politically, so there's already some red flags there, as well. But for me, it's about the integrity of the paper," Dias told BNN Bloomberg in a phone interview Friday.

"It's one thing to have discussions with people, but for me and my members it’s much more important that we have a public document of commitments. To me, that's more important than private conversations."

Eddy Evans, a spokesperson for the Ontario NDP, told BNN Bloomberg in an email Friday the party does share concerns about the Torstar sale and supports a probe from provincial security regulators. 

"We are likely to contact the OSC to add the official Opposition NDP to those raising concerns," Evans said.

Peterson described the competing firm, which includes former Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara, as "sore losers" who are trying to "deliberately obfuscate" the bidding for Torstar because they weren't successful in putting forward an offer for the company in time for a vote by the company's voting trust. 

"When Mr. Sorbara goes on television, he's actually been very insulting about the voting trust and the board of Torstar. He said that they left money on the table even though … they never put forward with a bid. That's the funny thing with this transaction and all this noise that surrounds it," he said.

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