Canadian Manufacturing

Public service union rips public-private infrastructure partnerships

Canadian Union of Public Employees calls planned boost to P3s in Ontario "distressing"



TORONTO—The union representing a number of public service workers throughout Ontario and across Canada is calling the province’s plan to increase public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects a mistake.

Ontario needs strong, stable infrastructure, according to Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario president Fred Hahn, calling it “distressing” that the province is embracing “disastrous” public-private partnerships (P3s).

“P3s are the worst way to have a fair and balanced economy,” Han said in a release attacking the notion of such work.

“They cost the public money and only serve to line corporate pockets. The Liberals should have learned their lesson with the crushing costs of their failed privatizations schemes with Ontario’s gas generating plants, the Ornge air ambulance service and Brampton’s $3.5-billion hospital deal.”

A fair and balanced economic approach must include stable, long-term public infrastructure funding, as well as restoration of corporate taxes, according to the union, and it must include investment in public services to spur economic growth.

“It is encouraging to hear the government finally admit that you can’t cut your way to prosperity,” said Hahn. “But this government has yet to repair the cuts it has made to public services and has yet to bring fairness and balance to revenue generation.”

CUPE claims every million dollars in corporate tax cuts generates only about $400,000 in GDP growth and about three jobs.

“We encourage the Liberals to invest in public services, which support Ontario communities and help keep people in good jobs and building the economy,” said Hahn. “If they sincerely believe in fairness and balance, we’ll see the investments to back up their words.”

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