Saskatoon: Kathleen Corrigan, the chairperson of the Burnaby School Board, along with representatives of CUPE Saskatchewan will participate in a news conference on Wednesday, November 5, to discuss their concerns with using public private partnerships (P3s) to finance major capital projects such as a public school in the city. They also will identify key requirements for provincial government policy on this issue.
The news conference will be held at 11 a.m. in the Radisson Hotel’s Michelangelo Room.
In September, the Saskatoon Public School Board announced it was “actively exploring” the idea of a public private partnership (P3) to build a new school in the north-east area of the city.
Under the controversial scheme, a private company would finance, build and operate the school and lease it back to the school division over a 25 to 35-year period.
A 2007 case study of the Alberta government’s proposal to use private financing (P3) to build and operate public schools found it would cost 30% - 50% more than traditional public sector financing.
“The Alberta case study concluded for every two schools financed and built as P3 projects, three schools could have been built using conventional public financing,” says
CUPE Saskatchewan President Tom Graham. “And that was before the global credit crunch.”
Graham and CUPE Local 8443 President Will Bauer will join Kathleen Corrigan at the news conference.
Corrigan, who works as a CUPE research representative in British Columbia, specializes in privatization issues. She is in Saskatoon to address the annual CUPE education workers conference which takes place November 4 and 5 at the Radisson.
NDP education critic Trent Wotherspoon and Deputy Minister of Learning Audrey Roadhouse will also speak to the CUPE education workers on Wednesday.
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For more information contact, Beth Smillie at 382-8262.