(Halifax) - The president of CUPE Nova Scotia is calling on the Dexter government to abandon Public Private Partnerships, commonly referred to as ‘P3s’.
Danny Cavanagh says, “The Auditor General’s recent findings about our P3 schools has surely raised a red flag for the provincial government. Jacques Lapointe makes 21 recommendations in his report that speak to the fundamental flaws in the contracts that were signed.
“The bigger issue,” says Cavanagh, “is that P3s are not really ‘partnerships’ at all. They’re simply a way for governments to temporarily offload debt from their books. Taxpayers end up paying the real price tag for this as we’ve seen in the case of the P3 schools, when the private sector ‘partner’ makes windfall profits.
”CUPE is particularly concerned that the province and Halifax Regional Municipality may be considering a P3 arrangement for the new Halifax Convention Centre, tempted by the prospect of additional funding from the Harper government’s Building Canada Fund.”
As Cavanagh explains, “There are major strings attached to this federal money. The fund stipulates that any project looking for $50 million or more must explore the P3 option.”
“We are also quite concerned that the Kate Carmichael Lecture scheduled for February 25 here in Halifax features Rod Cameron of Criterion Communications, a P3 advisor to the BC government on the Vancouver Convention Centre. That P3 project was eventually abandoned and built and financed in the traditional manner,” says Cavanagh.
Mr. Cameron’s talk is on how a new convention centre will revitalize the downtown.
CUPE N.S. President
(902) 957-0822 (Cell)
CUPE Communications Representative