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The president of CUPE Nova Scotia, Danny Cavanagh,  says the president of the Nova Scotia Chambers of Commerce has got it all wrong on the issue of P3s.

Cavanagh says, “Maybe Laurie Jennings thinks that toll highways and bridges are the answer, but that’s certainly not what the people of this province want.  Is he or the government prepared to guarantee there will be no toll highways?”

Pointing to the failed P3 schools scheme, Cavanagh asks, “Is his organization going to tell the people of this province that privately owned and operated schools will be open to the public for after hours use, or that the P3 owners won’t want a share of the schools’ chocolate bar sales?”

Is the Chamber going to help the small business people when highways go around their businesses,” he asks.

Cavanagh says, “The Chamber and the Premier can say all they want that things will be better this time, but even Dr. Phil says the best way to predict future behavior is by looking at past behaviour.  If that’s true, then I suggest we as taxpayers are in deep trouble.”

I urge Mr. Jennings to read the story that’s out today about the Joe Howe Building in Halifax which the province has been ‘leasing’ from a private company in a P3 arrangement.  The building is assessed at $14.2 million, but has already cost about $50 million in lease payments.

Now we learn there’s a $24 million price tag for renovations – and guess who’s on the hook for that?  Taxpayers!  This is proof to the people that pay the bills that we were snookered again by a P3 gone bad,” says Cavanagh.