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Public investment in public services and infrastructure is the key to strengthening our communities. That’s why CUPE is stressing this as an important issue in the federal election campaign.

Keeping these investments public is the better way to ensure accountability because public ownership and control leads to stronger governance. The public private partnership (P3) form of privatization leads to secrecy, private profit, public expense and corruption.

The Liberals lack a real national strategy for cities and towns. After 12 years of cutbacks and downloading despite multiple surplus budgets, communities are stretched to the limit. But the Martin government is doing too little, too late – and encouraging privatization through P3s at the local level. The absence of a long-term funding commitment and lack of public spending conditions mean their “New Deal for Cities and Communities” will further privatize public infrastructure.

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives would further cut public investment and actually expand the role of the private sector in providing infrastructure like roads, sewers, water and wastewater and public transit. Our communities would bear the brunt of this race to the bottom. Wages, working conditions and the quality of public services would all suffer.

The NDP improved the Liberals’ 2005 budget and partially transformed harmful tax cuts into wise and needed spending on social and physical infrastructure and services. Thanks to the NDP, $4.6 billion of planned corporate tax cuts will be spent on building stronger communities. This includes $2.5 billion over two years for public transit affordable housing and energy retrofits.

The NDP continues to have the best program for making our communities stronger, including a national environmental infrastructure program, and a plan to encourage more usage of public transit.

Read the CUPE fact sheet on voting positive for our cities and towns.