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Ralph Klein’s latest budget pushes public private partnerships, turning vital public services over to the private sector.

“A great big tax cut for private corporations, no commitment to meet the real needs of Albertans in health care and education, and a fancy financing scheme for the private sector to get rich on public infrastructure means this budget is great for private corporations,” says CUPE Alberta president Bruce McLeod.

“But it’s bad news for local democracy and the future of public service delivery in this province,” he says.

Starting in 2004, about a third of all new capital spending will be allocated through alternative financing, including the amount for local authorities.

CUPE has done a great deal of research on alternative financing schemes all across Canada. Yet the government refuses to look at the evidence,” says McLeod. “Our research has found that decisions including the location of new schools and hospitals, as well as staffing and service levels, are typically handed to the private sector with no public input.”