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CUPEs 2001 Annual Report on Privatization

OTTAWA Canadas largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) released its third annual report on privatization today. This report shines a spotlight on the federal role in selling off our public services, said Judy Darcy, CUPE National President.

Last week, Canadians were appalled to learn that for the price of a reception, the corporate elite can gain special access to government leaders at the Quebec City summit. But this is just the tip of the iceberg, said Darcy.

Called Dollars and democracy, the report documents how the Liberal government is opening the doors for corporations to increase control of public services. By privatizing federal services, cutting transfer payments and promoting costly partnerships with the private sector, the federal government is retreating from its responsibilities while increasing the cost to taxpayers.

Our report shows that privatization has nothing to do with savings or efficiency, said Darcy. Its the latest form of corporate welfare, a guaranteed annual income for shareholders at the expense of Canadians.

The report highlights the threat to public services posed by international trade agreements. Federal negotiators are cooking up trade deals that propel us down the road to ever-greater corporate control of vital public services, said Darcy. They risk destroying the very things that make Canada such an attractive place to live and invest the services that create the common wealth that makes us competitive globally.

The report is also critical of the federal government for taking no action to defend public health care. The health minister fiddles while our health system burns, said Darcy. Ontario is following Albertas lead in ushering in for-profit health care yet from the federal government we hear nothing.

Our research shows Canadians dont want to pay the price of privatization, concluded Darcy. Its time the federal government started to listen.

Copies of the report can be found at cupe.ca/issues/privatization/arp/.


For information please contact:
Catherine Louli (613) 237-1590, ext. 268 or (613) 851-0547 mobile.