(Halifax) – The President of CUPE Nova Scotia is calling on all business lobby groups in the province to condemn taxpayer rip-offs no matter where they come from.
Danny Cavanagh says, “Groups like the CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business) and the Chambers of Commerce are quick to jump on any single fault of the public sector, but remain curiously silent when private sector players take taxpayers to the cleaners.”
As one recent example Cavanagh cites the $52 million P3 schools fiasco uncovered by the Auditor General. “It’s these kinds of deals that are the reason the province is in the economic state it’s in. Why do we never hear these pro-business groups say a single critical word when stories like this emerge,” asks Cavanagh.
He also cites the Joseph Howe building in downtown Halifax - another P3 deal gone bad - where taxpayers have now spent $35 million to lease a building that’s assessed at just over $9 million.
“Taxpayers have paid the operating costs, taxes, rent, insurance to the people we rent it from, and on and on. Is it any wonder we’re in tough financial straits when you consider the millions of dollars we’ve squandered on just this one building,” he asks.
“The CFIB represents many business that pay low wages and provide little or no benefits, let alone pensions, to their employees leaving those workers high and dry in their retirement years. And yet they’re the ones leading the charge to cut taxes, reduce services, cut public sector pension plans and so on.
“I think these organizations conveniently forget that public sector workers form the backbone of many of our communities and without them many communities in rural Nova Scotia would barely have an economy,” says Cavanagh.
President, CUPE Nova Scotia
(902) 957-0822 (cellular)
CUPE Communications Representative