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External articles (102)

Wall Street wants in on public school construction, and that’s scary

We’ve long heard the same false claims about using public-private partnerships to build infrastructure like toll roads, but not public schools. Until now. Private equity firms and Wall Street banks say public-private partnerships are cheaper, which is flat-out wrong. State and local governments can borrow money using low-cost municipal bonds. Why should they pay extra to make private investors rich?

Source: In the Public Interest

Back in house: Why local governments are bringing services home

This new report from the Columbia Institute is about the emerging trend of remunicipalization. As part of our ongoing work to promote the value of publicly-delivered services, the Canadian Union of Public Employees helped fund the production of Back in house. The report examines the Canadian environment for local governments, shares 15 Canadian case studies about returning services, follows-up and reports back on two earlier studies promoting contracted out services, provides a scan of international findings, and shares some best practices and governance checkpoints for bringing services back in house. Many of the local governments examined employ CUPE members.

Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees

CUPE denounces the plans to build a new prison using a public-private partnership

CUPE Newfoundland (@CupeNL) denounces Dwight Ball, the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, for planning to build a new prison using a ‘public-private partnership.’ “Naturally, Ernst & Young recommended using a public-private partnership. P3s= higher-cost private financing, ‘off book debts’ now that will mean less available funding in future years.”

Source: Twitter

“The Ford government is ramming through their mega-bureaucracy health privatization bill"

Andrea Horwath, the Leader of Ontario’s Official Opposition, says “the Ford government is ramming through their mega-bureaucracy health privatization bill, while limiting public consultations and ignoring 19,413 pages of public submissions. In a democracy, people deserve to be consulted and have their concerns heard.” On April 30 there will be a rally to protect public healthcare hosted by the Ontario Health Coalition.

Source: Twitter

The Ontario Federation of Labour has launched a Power of Many campaign

The Ontario Federation of Labour has launched a Power of Many campaign of resistance to the Ontario government’s pro-business agenda of cuts and privatization. “‘Ford’s cuts hurt all of us from schoolchildren to seniors,’ said OFL Executive Vice-President Ahmad Gaied. ‘Ontario has come together to say this: we will fight for public services, for decent work, for equality and justice, as well as safe and healthy workplaces and communities.’ PC government cuts and privatizations have weakened and removed workplace and environmental protections, cancelled important programs, instituted a hiring freeze in the public service, cut funding to key public services like education and social service supports, and moved toward merging, closing, and privatizing health care delivery services.”

Source: www.globenewswire.com

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

Unions and community resist privatisation of healthcare

Public service unions and community members are mounting a major effort to resist Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s efforts to privatise healthcare and other services. Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) President Warren Thomas says Ford is engaging in “deficit fear-mongering to justify deep public sector cuts and costly privatization schemes.”

Source: OPSEU

Union leaders demanding public consultation on the omnibus health care bill

Union leaders representing more than 200,000 nurses, health professionals and care workers are demanding public consultation on the Ford government’s omnibus health care bill. “Bill 74 is the Ford government’s omnibus health care legislation in which the government has given itself and its appointees in its new ‘super agency’ wide-reaching new powers to force unprecedented health care restructuring without any public consultation, including mergers, closures and privatization of hospitals, long-term care, home care, diagnostic services, clinics, community care, mental health and addictions services, community health centres, and others.”

Source: globenewswire.com

The provincial government's plan to merge local health integration networks

Shirley Roebuck, head of a local Ontario Health Coalition chapter, says she is “concerned the provincial government's plan to merge local health integration networks, Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario, the Trillium Gift of Life and others into a monolithic Ontario Health ‘super agency’ over a period of several years could mean more privatization in the system.”

Source: Sarnia Observer

For-profit privatization of laboratories, air ambulance and vital patient support services

Sara Labelle, Chair of the Hospital Professionals Division of OPSEU, which represents more than 50,000 health care professionals, care workers and support staff, says “we are deeply opposed to the leaked secret plans and for-profit privatization of our laboratories, air ambulance, vital patient support services and others for which the Ford government has no mandate whatsoever. We are joining forces to insist in the strongest possible terms that this government slow down and consult with the people of Ontario.”

Source: www.globenewswire.com

New bill by Ontario Conservatives paves the way to privatization

Despite assurances from the government that they will not use new health restructuring legislation to privatize services, “key sections of Bill 74 are designed to do just that,” warns Michael Hurley, the president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE. “One of those sections explicitly removes reference to keeping hospital and other health services public and not-for-profit.”

Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees