The Canadian government claims Article 1.3 of the GATS will protect our public health and education systems.
Article 1.3 excludes certain services provided in the exercise of governmental authority.
Article 1.3 also excludes from the GATS any service which is supplied neither on a commercial basis nor in competition with one or more service suppliers.
- But in Canada, most public services involve a mix of public and private funding.
- Many are delivered through a variety of ways that include public, non-profit and commercial.
- As a result, education and health are indeed threatened by privatization under the GATS regime.
Right off the bat, food service, grounds keeping, custodial and laundry services, even if they are provided at a hospital, school or university, will come under the GATS rules. Other aspects of our public services will follow.