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Accountability railroaded by Ottawa privatization scheme

Two Ottawa ‘public-private partnership’ projects have been approved by councilors without them being able to see the details. The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) reports that “the need for public services to be accountable to the public took a back seat to ‘commercial confidentiality’ when Ottawa city council approved 2 P3 privatization schemes to extend rail lines. Even though there are significant problems with a P3 privatization scheme for the city’s first light rail line, city councillors were told they didn’t even need to know if bidders met technical requirements. The 2 P3 privatization schemes will cost at least $4.7 billion, and councillors have had very little time to delay the project. Councillors with unanswered questions were told that even delaying the decision by 2 weeks wasn’t possible.” Meanwhile, SNC-Lavalin, which is implicated in the national political controversy threatening to bring down Prime Minister Trudeau, has just been awarded another P3 contract.

Source: nupge.ca

Privatization scheme bribery case ends with guilty plea on least serious charge

A series of criminal trials over a bribery scandal over a P3 privatization scheme ended last week with people admitting that $22.5 million in bribes were paid, but with no one being convicted of actually paying them. For those naïve enough to believe that the justice system does a good job of policing the privatization industry, it was a very bad week.

Source: PSI

The use of private firefighters and inmates could be seen as a way to avoid funding public services

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has warned that “there is good reason to fear that the growing use of private firefighters and inmates could be seen as a way to avoid funding public services at the level required to respond to climate change.”

Source: nupge.ca

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New Forms of Privatization

PSI affiliate, The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), Canada, has released an update of a report on privatisation and emerging threats to public services—New Forms of Privatization. While privatisation schemes may be changing, the motivation has not. “Privatisation is still about helping wealthy corporations or individuals make a profit at the public’s expense,” said Larry Brown, NUPGE President