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A CUPE-commissioned analysis of the Vancouver-area rapid transit P3 says the scheme, which disguises debt as performance payments may prove more costly than a public alternative.

The report, by former federal auditor Louis Auerbach, suggests the BC government intends to pay only part of its contribution up front. The other half will be paid out over 30 years as performance payments.

But Auerbach says, according to the little information available, the private partner will get a large proportion of these performance payments no matter how well the company performs.

If it looks like debt, and acts like debt, then maybe it really is debt, says Auerbach.

Auerbach says so little is known about the deal, and the accounting so convoluted that its likely it wouldnt meet the requirements of the provinces Budget Transparency and Accountability Act.

CUPE BC President Barry ONeill said the findings of the report were just one more example of the secrecy and scheming that had gone into the decision to hand a large chunk of rapid transit in the Lower Mainland over to a private company.

Time and time again the Liberals have proven they will do anything for a P3 even if it costs more, fails to transfer risk and hides vital information, like debt, from public records, said ONeill.

A copy of the report and supporting documents can be found at http://www.cupe.bc.ca/