VANCOUVER 005400680065 Canadian Union of Public Employees has learned that an official from the BC Ministry of Finance and a former Burnaby School Board superintendent are flying to Toronto to participate in a conference promoting privatization of local public schools and other public services.
Making the trip are Manuel Achadinha, director of the implementation branch for the finance department; and George Miller, recently-retired superintendent of schools in Burnaby.
“We are deeply concerned that without debate in British Columbia and with no mandate, Mr. Achadinha and Mr. Miller are taking part in discussions about ways to hand over public schools and other services to the private sector,” said Judy Darcy, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “Public officials are there to protect our public assets, not sell them off for profit.”
In Toronto, Achadinha and Miller will speak at a conference on Public Private Partnerships, or P3s. A front for the world’s largest corporations, the P3 conference attempts to find ways to privatize literally any public service 007300630068ools, hospitals, roads, social services and water.
Typically, P3 arrangements take the form of long-term leases, where a private company builds something and then leases it back to the public. Once the building needs repairs, at the end of the lease, the private corporation walks away, leaving the public to pick up the tab.
Huge user fees 0072006f0061d tolls, extra fees to use schools after hours, special charges to use community facilities 006100720065 typically involved as corporations need to extract as much money as possible during the lease.
P3s have been criticized by Auditors General as costing more, since the public sector can borrow money for less. In one New Brunswick example, the Auditor General said a P3 school cost almost $900,000 more because it was privatized. Similar scandals have been uncovered in health care, highways, water and social services.
“It’s important that public services not be privatized. Service declines and profits 0061006e0064 jobs 006c00650061ve communities,” said Barry O’Neill, President of CUPE B.C.“Privatization will cost taxpayers more and will cost the citizens of B.C. accountability over their services.”
For More Information: Barry O’Neill, President CUPE British Columbia (604) 291-9119
or Karin Jordan