Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
CUPE is working to dry up a major source of cash for P3 projects: the Ontario municipal pension plan. The union is challenging the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) to stop investing workers’ money in P3 schools, hospitals and other public services.

In an unprecedented presentation to the OMERS board, CUPE national and Ontario division representatives presented a strong case against investing in P3s. Board members heard evidence that P3s are bad public policy, and that there are responsible public investment alternatives. CUPE got in the boardroom door thanks to pressure from Ontario division leadership.

OMERS and the Canada Pension Plan investment board are majority owners of the Borealis infrastructure investment corporation. Borealis has bankrolled failed Nova Scotia P3 schools and is part of a consortium shortlisted in the bidding for two Ontario P3 hospitals.

Many board members and staff were impressed with the presentation, and clearly troubled by the concerns it raised. The CUPE presentation urged board members to make public investments, such as encouraging governments to issue bonds. With $60 billion in the bank, OMERS has considerable clout – power that should be directed to public infrastructure, not corporate profits.

The board will decide how to direct Borealis investments at its March meeting. While the presentation went well, some members still argue that investing in “bricks and mortar” shouldn’t be a problem, especially if the new jobs are unionized. CUPE will follow up to further highlight the dangerous pitfalls of P3s for board members before they make their decision. CUPE represents the majority of OMERS 325,000 current and retired members.