Support for the Martin Liberals has plummeted since Auditor General Sheila Frasers report on the federal sponsorship scandal. Canadians dont want their tax dollars siphoned off through political corruption. Handing over big bucks to corporate friends is unacceptable, whether for phantom sponsorships or public private partnerships.
Prime Minister Paul Martin has appointed a new parliamentary secretary for P3s, Toronto-area MP John McKay. A true believer, McKay describes P3s as the buzz item, the big ticket. Apparently unaware of the mounting public opposition to privatization, McKay recently asked a reporter, Why does a public entity have to own the hospital? He went on to advocate P3s for water, roads and other public services, ignoring the sorry record of P3 failures across the country.
The government moved quickly to muzzle McKay but Treasury Board president Reg Alcock confirmed that future federal infrastructure funds would be directed to P3s.
If the Liberals friends can figure out how to take $100 million from a $250 million fund, imagine what they could do with $3 billion, says CUPE National President Paul Moist.
Not everyone in the Liberal party is singing from the P3 songbook. Ian Capstick, a former top aide to Liberal MP Sheila Copps, has defected to the NDP decrying the way the government has moved into the further corporatizing of government through their public private partnerships. Capstick says thousands of disaffected Liberals are joining the chorus of opposition to P3s and other right-leaning items in the Martin agenda.
For more on CUPEs response to the auditor generals report and John McKays comments, visit http://www.cupe.ca/www/373/makesamemistakes