Accountability and Transparency for P3 privatization model is not “red tape”, it’s an essential public protection

CUPE MB: Pallister’s proposal to repeal P3 Legislation is a step backwards

Basic public consultations, accountability and transparency are needed, not “red tape”

Winnipeg – The Canadian Union of Public Employees Manitoba has serious concerns about legislation introduced today by the Pallister government to repeal a law that provides basic measures for accountability and transparency when it comes to public-private partnerships.

Section 14 of the Pallister government’s Bill 24- The Red Tape Reduction and Government Efficiency Act proposes to eliminate the existing Public-Private Partnerships Transparency and Accountability Act, in its entirety.

The P3 Transparency and Accountability Act contains basic but essential protections for public investments and access to services,” said Kelly Moist, President of CUPE Manitoba. “How can Premier Pallister call the P3 Act “red tape”? It provides minimum provisions for a fair process on P3 projects, most of which involve tens or hundreds of millions of dollars and long-term contracts.”

“P3 projects are controversial for a reason,” added Moist. “These projects often take public funds and oversight and turn them over to a for-profit entity. Why would any government want to repeal a law that protects the public interest and public funds?”

CUPE has raised concerns in the past about P3s. The existing legislation only provides basic protections and access to information. In one case in Portage la Prairie, for example, CUPE raised concerns that a wastewater treatment plant renovation and expansion worth hundreds of millions of dollars would cost the public more through a P3, key financial information was not made available to the public, and there was no serious effort to engage in public consultations. CUPE is concerned that P3 projects routinely have poor results on every measure of public interest, from quality of service to timelines and cost.

“The people of Manitoba have always been on the hook for any problems resulting from using the P3 model for public projects. If the P3 Act is eliminated, we will be on the hook and blindfolded,” concluded Moist.

“If Premier Pallister wants to show Manitobans he is committed to his promise to protect public services, he will cancel his plans to repeal The P3 Transparency and Accountability Act, and strengthen it instead.”

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Federal budget rewards the rich but fails every day Canadians

via CUPE.ca


Ottawa, ON 
– The Conservative’s 2015 federal budget may balance the books, but it is highly unbalanced in its impact on Canadians.  It puts millions of seniors at risk of poverty, abandons families in need of affordable child care and quality public health care, and doesn’t help Canadians workers who need better jobs, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

“The Conservatives have chosen irresponsible economic policies that slash revenues to benefit a few corporations and the wealthy,” says Paul Moist, national president of CUPE, Canada’s largest union. “This budget does far more harm than good in addressing the gap between workers and the richest Canadians. With this budget, that gap will only continue to grow.”

Maintaining unreasonably low corporate taxes, income splitting, tax credits for wealthy families like the expanded TFSA’s provide no help for every day Canadians.  These measures recklessly slash federal revenues that will mean more cuts to public services that Canadians depend on.

“Expanding TFSA does almost nothing to help the over 11 million Canadians without a work place pension. Instead of expanding the Canada Pension Plan – widely seen as the most effective, efficient and affordable way to keep seniors out of poverty – the Conservatives only offer another tax shelter for the rich,” says Moist. “The lost revenues from expanding TFSA’s – at least $1 billion over the next five years – will only mean more pressure on OAS/GIS. This budget is an unqualified failure for the vast majority of Canadian seniors.”

Canadian families struggling to find affordable child care are also left without any help.

“Families are spending more on child care than on housing – up to $2000 a month. This means the tax credit being offered up by Conservatives will barely cover one month. And that will be for only handful of families; most won’t get a dime,” says Moist.

The Conservatives lack of leadership on child care is even more pronounced in health care. Despite long waiting lists, five million Canadians without a family doctor, and skyrocketing prescription drug prices, the 2015 federal budget confirms Conservatives are cutting more than $36 billion from health care.

“We need strong federal leadership to strengthen our public health care system,” says Moist. “Our public health care is coming apart at the seams, and Conservatives simply shrug their shoulders hoping someone else will take care of it.”

CUPE is urging the Official Opposition to move budget amendments that will help create quality jobs, make urgent investments in public health care and child care, expand the CPP, and introduce measures that protect valued public services.

“This budget is clearly taking our country in the wrong direction. It fails workers, families, seniors, students, Indigenous peoples and the environment,” says Moist. “The only bright side is that with our pending federal election, this will be the Conservatives last budget. Next budget, we’ll be able to start repairing the damage done. It’s time for a change.”

CUPE’s complete analysis of the 2015 federal budget will be available on cupe.ca.

For more information:

Greg Taylor
CUPE Media Relations
613 818-0067
gtaylor@cupe.ca