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EDMONTON 005400680065 Canadian Union of Public Employees has learned that Beatrice Denboer of the Edmonton Public School Board is flying to Toronto to participate in a conference promoting privatization of local public schools.

Denboer is the senior planner for student accommodation and special projects for the school board.

“We are deeply concerned that without debate in this community and with no mandate, Ms. Denboer is taking part in discussions about ways to hand over Edmonton’s public schools to the private sector,” said Judy Darcy, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “Public officials are there to protect our public assets, not sell them off for profit.”

In Toronto, Denboer will speak at a conference on Public Private Partnerships, or P3s. A front for the world’s largest corporations, the P3 conference attempts to find ways to privatize literally any public service 007300630068ools, hospitals, roads, social services and water.

Typically, P3 arrangements take the form of long-term leases, where a private company builds something and then leases it back to the public. Once the building needs repairs, at the end of the lease, the private corporation walks away, leaving the public to pick up the tab.

Huge user fees 0072006f0061d tolls, extra fees to use schools after hours, special charges to use community facilities 006100720065 typically involved as corporations need to extract as much money as possible during the lease.

P3s have been criticized by Auditors General as costing more, since the public sector can borrow money for less. In one New Brunswick example, the Auditor General said a P3 school cost almost $900,000 more because it was privatized. Similar scandals have been uncovered services.

“It’s important that public services not be privatized. Service declines and profits leave the community,” said Terry Mutton, President of CUPE Alberta. “Privatization will cost taxpayers in health care, highways, water and social more and will cost the citizens of Edmonton accountability over their public schools.”

For More Information: Terry Mutton, President CUPE Alberta (403) 660-7517 (613) 232-2200 ( Minto Place Hotel, Friday, November 19 only)

or Karin Jordan

November 18, 1999 opeiu 491