(Halifax) – With news out of Ontario this week that the province’s auditor general has found taxpayers paid a high premium for a P3 (public-private-partnership) hospital in Brampton, CUPE Nova Scotia is calling for our auditor general to take a stronger role in reviewing, recommending and reporting on P3 projects.
The Ontario review finds that the government of the day imposed the P3 process. The Ontario auditor general strongly questions the amount of risk transfer used to justify the Brampton P3 and finds that had the project been done publicly, Ontario taxpayers would have saved hundreds of millions of dollars.
CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh says, “We would like to see Nova Scotia’s auditor general prepare independent reports on P3’s and adopt a greater degree of involvement on P3 projects.
“We think that, given the large amount of public money involved and the importance of the services, greater independent oversight of the MacDonald government’s contract to Partnerships BC to ‘evaluate’ P3 projects is needed,” he says.
As Cavanagh explains, “It was also announced today that Federal Transport Minister John Baird will meet with Atlantic premiers about infrastructure projects next week. Nova Scotians need to realize that any money from the Harper government will be tied to P3’s.
“It’s starting to look like we’re going to get P3’s shoved down our throats, whether we like it or not, with the full cooperation of the MacDonald government. Like we saw with the P3 schools debacle, taxpayers will foot the bill for these overpriced projects for decades to come,” says Cavanagh.
The Harper government has created a $1.3 billion fund for infrastructure projects but only if they are public-private-partnerships.