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News (42)

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

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

CUPE NS calls for transparency legislation governing public-private partnerships

CUPE Nova Scotia calls for transparency legislation governing ‘public-private partnerships.’ “The recommendations are based on research and discussion coming out of a panel discussion on P3s and transparency held in Halifax on November 13, 2018. ‘We need to stop the drain on our finances, and one of the first steps we can take is to legislate disclosure in reporting how our money is spent,’ says CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen. ‘There should be no secrets when public money is spent on public infrastructure and services.’”

Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees

CUPE is raising concerns about the lack of transparency at Canada’s infrastructure bank

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is raising concerns about the lack of transparency at Canada’s infrastructure bank. “Bank CEO Pierre Lavallée recently told a friendly crowd at the annual conference of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships the bank has looked at 55 potential projects – half of which are unsolicited ideas from corporations designed to feed their bottom lines, not serve the public interest. (…) With work clearly underway behind the scenes, Canadians need full transparency about the bank and the projects it’s considering. The CIB takes aim at our roads, bridges, water and transit systems, and will hand unprecedented control of critical projects to for-profit corporations. As Canadians, we’ve built this infrastructure together. It belongs to us all, and it’s not for sale.”

Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees

Why pay more to get less? P3 deal wrong way to build highway

Nova Scotia highway workers, represented by CUPE 1867, have launched a radio ad “asking the province not to use a public-private partnership (P3) to construct a new stretch of Highway 104.” Steve Joy, president of CUPE Local 1867, “says while he is pleased with the highway twinning project that is long overdue, he still has concerns about public safety when it comes to contracting out snow and ice removal. ‘Will this highway be maintained to the same high standards as our public roads if the contractor decides to cut corners or wages to turn a profit?’ “Also, can a private, for-profit company clear and maintain highways for less than our own Department of Transportation?’ asks Joy.”

Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees

Privatization of hospital services prevented in New Brunswick

Hospital privatization has been blocked in New Brunswick. The New Brunswick government officially rejected the Sodexo takeover of management of food, cleaning and patient portering services in New Brunswick hospitals. “After petitions, rallies, meetings, citizen advocacy, our efforts to halt privatization have been successful,” said Norma Robinson, President of CUPE 1252, the New Brunswick Council of Hospital Unions.

Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees

The Future is Public: building a pro-public movement for all

The Future is Public is a two-day gathering of union leaders, activists, researchers, and community groups in Montréal, June 15-16 2018. The conference aims to generate outlines of such a common vision, working towards a pro-public movement that would develop proposals and campaigns for public services that: Address environmental crises and reverse deepening inequality; Increase a sense of ownership and democratic input from workers and communities; Create inclusive and equitable services.

Source: The Future is Public

Public money ‘shouldn’t pad profits’

The Ontario NDP, which just became the official opposition on the province, ran its campaign on a promise “to devote government funding solely to not-for-profit providers of public services, signaling a sweeping shift in how government programs are delivered. The NDP has drawn much attention for its pledge to buy back the privatized half of Hydro One, but that's just one way the party aims to diminish the role of private business in the public sector. (…) As well as largely barring profit-making companies from offering taxpayer-funded services, the NDP is vowing to end the private-public P3 projects often used to build hospitals and other infrastructure, and launch the biggest expansion ‘ever seen’ of non-profit community health centers, an alternative to private doctor's offices.” Fred Hahn, Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, “argued the academic data does unequivocally show social and health services are best provided by not-for-profits. There is a principle at stake, too, he added.”

Source: National Post