The current federal election campaign will have a big impact on the future of public private partnerships in Canada. If Paul Martin and his Liberals are returned to office with a majority, were going to see a big push for P3s in health care, water systems, transit and virtually every other area of government services. And if Stephen Harper and the Conservatives form a government, well see even more P3s and privatization as vital services are cut and contracted out.
The federal Liberals wanted to use health care to set themselves apart from the Conservatives. But that strategy backfired when Canadians heard health minister Pierre Pettigrew welcome increased for-profit health care. Even more blunt, John MacKay, Martins parliamentary secretary for P3s, has asked, Why does a public entity have to own the hospital?
Privatization and public private partnerships have long been the hidden agenda of Paul Martin. Since his days as finance minister, he slashed funding to vital public services and squirreled away huge surpluses, while keeping patients waiting for health care and downloading costs to provinces and municipalities.
The Conservatives would shift that agenda into overdrive.
Only the New Democrats have come out with a clear platform to strengthen public delivery of public services and resist P3s.
As Canadians are heading to the poll, ask if you want a privatized Canada and vote for public services.