Craig Saunders —
Ontario needs strong, stable infrastructure, but today’s announcement that the government will re-write rules to increase public-private partnerships (P3s) is a mistake, says Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.
“It is distressing that the Liberals are embracing disastrous P3s,” said Hahn. “P3s are the worst way to have a fair and balanced economy. 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.”
The affects of P3s on safety, accountability and public finances are well documented.
A fair and balanced economic approach must include stable, long-term public infrastructure funding, as well as restoration of corporate taxes, which the Liberals cut to their lowest levels since the Great Depression, 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.”
Every million dollars in corporate tax cuts generates only about $0.4 million in GDP growth and about three jobs. Investments in education, public infrastructure, health care, social services and child care provide exponentially higher GDP and job growth. For example, the same investment in public child care generates about $2.3 million GDP growth and 40 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.”
CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with members providing quality public services we all rely on in every part of the province every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.