CUPE members are leaving the New Brunswick anti-P3 summit pumped with information and primed for action.
More than 280 delegates from New Brunswick and six other provinces came together to learn about the pitfalls of P3s, deepen the union’s strategic response and commit to action.
CUPE national secretary-treasurer Claude Généreux asked delegates if they were ready to raise their voices and take against privatization, and the answer was a resounding yes.
The summit wrapped up as the provincial government announced the next steps for two P3 schools. Généreux took aim at privateers seeking to profit from public services, calling them “corrupters of the public good.”
“Today, we have to start our campaign – in the province, together, and on all fronts. No matter which public service is under threat – we start now,” said Généreux.
CUPE and its allies don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to fighting privatization, said Généreux. “Lots of work has been done already. It’s time to put the wheel into action.”
Working in coalition was a major theme of the conference. Généreux drew on the inspiring story of the birth of Quebec water coalition Eau Secours – which has grown from a group of four citizens to an influential and connected organization representing more than 200 groups and 2,000 citizens.
“We need public services and public services need us – all of us in this room and many others,” said Genereux.
The morning session included a presentation from University of Manitoba economics professor John Loxley on the Canadian P3 track record. Delegates also discussed how to tackle privateers in their communities in a workshop session.