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OTTAWA – The Ottawa District Council of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is calling on Ottawa City Council to hold public discussions before implementing public-private partnerships (P3’s).

“We call on Ottawa City Council to hold a broader public discussion about P3’s and their long term implications by holding public meetings in different areas of the city before proceeding with these projects, because the citizens need to understand what this means before it’s too late,” says Ottawa District CUPE Council president Steve Sanderson.

The CUPE Council circulated a report exposing the potential pitfalls of proposed public-private partnerships (P3’s) to Ottawa City Council today. The report follows oral submissions the CUPE Council made to city officials last week about the dangers of P3’s.

“We are very concerned that Council is not receiving the full story or considering the full range of issues surrounding P3’s,” says Sanderson. “Councillors have been presented with a very rosy picture and need to be aware of potential risks and disadvantages with these proposals.”

Last week the City of Ottawa’s Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee adopted a report from Bruce Thom, City Manager, recommending four P3 projects for implementation. Areas recommended for private sector involvement include ice surfaces and recreational facilities, the Garry J. Armstrong long term care centre, and an emergency medical services (EMS) facility.

“The term ‘public-private partnership’ is misleading,” says Shellie Bird, of the Ottawa District CUPE Council. “P3’s are one big step toward privatization of public services – they’re just another way of contracting out public services.”

The CUPE Council brief, a copy of which accompanies this news release, cites P3 problems with quality of service, public accountability, increased costs for taxpayers, job losses, hidden costs, and lack of public control. The brief also cites specific examples of problems associated with P3 projects in other parts of the province and across Canada.


For further information, please contact:
Steve Sanderson, President, Ottawa District CUPE Council
613-725-1023 (office)
Shellie Bird, Ottawa District CUPE Council
613-233-0228 (office)
Sean McKenny, Ottawa District Labour Council
613-862-5150 (cell)
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications Representative
416-292-3999 (office)

CUPE Council brief