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St. John’s – A conference on Public-Private-Partnerships – so-called P3’s – is set to get underway here tomorrow, and CUPE is warning participants to be very wary of what they hear.

CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas says the St. John’s Board of Trade-sponsored event will feature privatization pushers from across the country.

Says Lucas, “We want participants to realize that there is a long list of failed P3’s across our country and that they are not what they’re cracked up to be.

A few recent examples include Hamilton, Ontario where they just reversed what was the largest, privatized sewage treatment operation in Canada, after a disastrous experiment with P3’s. This 10-year contract saw five different partners - including a subsidiary of Enron at one point - in a seven-year period,” he says.

Closer to home, in Halifax the regional municipality there backed out of a huge, $360-million-dollar P3 at the very last minute, when the partner – Suez of France - refused to take any responsibility for the quality of the effluent going into the Harbour.”

Most importantly, we would like them, and the public, to understand that these are not ‘partnerships’. They are simply privatization in sheep’s clothing,” says the CUPE president.

CUPE is the largest union in Canada with 550,000 members who provide public services. It has carried out extensive research on the subject of P3’s here and around the world, all of which is available on its national website at www.cupe.ca.

For information:

Wayne Lucas
President, CUPE NL.
(709) 727-2509 (Cell)

John McCracken
CUPE Communications Representative
(902) 455-4180 (o)