The Canadian Union of Public Employees spoke out last year against a plan to have a private company build a new recreation facility in Edmonton and run it for profit. CUPE pointed out that that across Canada, so-called “public private partnerships” face cost overruns, delays, construction flaws, quality problems, legal disputes, failed contracts, bankruptcies, and service cuts with reduced accessibility.
After several months of study, a report to the community services department says much the same thing, and it is possible that the initial plan to build the Southwest Recreation Centre as a P3 will be scrapped. If this happens, the arena will likely still be built, but following the
public model that CUPE suggested in December.
“This is great news for our members and all Edmontonians,” said CUPE Local 30 President Dennis Mol. “No one benefits from a P3 except the big businesses involved.”
“There is no one more dedicated to the citizens of Edmonton than our members,” Mol continued. “When profit is the number one motive, services to the public is bound to suffer.”
A recent Federation of Canadian Municipalities report demonstrated that P3s do not offer municipalities a magic solution to the problem of securing additional funds for infrastructure, and that only significant, sustained public investment will meet our infrastructure needs.
“The FCM report backs us up on this issue,” said CUPE Alberta President D’Arcy Lanovaz. “The only unfortunate part of this is that it puts in sharp contrast the province’s stubborn determination to proceed with these flawed deals.”
In January of this year, CUPE Alberta released a report demonstrating the true financial costs of building schools as P3s. The Stelmach government, after refusing to read the report, is going ahead with their plan to build several new schools as P3s.
CUPE will continue the fight against the privatization of public services in Alberta, and across the country.
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For more information contact:
Audra Williams, Communications Representative: 780. 504.2837
D’Arcy Lanovaz, CUPE Alberta Division President: 403. 861.5235
Dennis Mol, Local 30 President: 780. 918.3061