Harper’s agenda is to privatize public services, infrastructure and buildings. His deep tax cuts will give his government a ready excuse to cut spending further and accelerate privatization. Some of Harper’s favourite forms of privatization include: the sale of public assets, contracting out, deregulation, program and funding cuts, commercialization, and public private partnerships.
What do we want?
We need a government that invests in public infrastructure and public services for the long term, not one that is willing to sell off our public assets to the highest bidder for short-term gain, while penalizing taxpayers in the long run. Keeping services public is the only way to ensure the democratic control and regulation needed to protect the public interest.
In his short time in office, Harper has:
- Forced P3s on other levels of government. The Building Canada Fund requires that provinces and municipalities fully consider the P3 option for large projects to be eligible for federal contributions. A new P3 Fund of $1.25 billion has also been set up along with a federal office to promote P3s.
- Failed to monitor and administer the Canada Health Act. This has allowed commercialization of health care to proceed and private clinics to proliferate.
- Sold nine key federal office properties to the private sector. These are the first of many on the table. The government made $1.4 billion, but the sale was undervalued by $600 million. Future governments will be left with crippling lease payments over the next 25 years.
- Contracted out federal government work at a rate that has increased by about 50 per cent in real dollars since 2000/1, amounting to $10 billion a year.
- Deregulated federal oversight of food and drugs and endangered public safety.