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The Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships is meeting next week in Toronto. A recent article in the National Post defined concern about P3’s as just a “union issue.” Read my response below, and follow us on social media during the conference to help push back against P3 spin. You can read original article here.

Re: Municipalities may add P3s to fund arsenal; Facing significant infrastructure deficits

Growing skepticism about turning to public-private partnerships for public infrastructure is not just a “union issue,” but a concern shared by many municipal leaders and the people in their communities. More and more municipalities are saying no to these risky deals as the dangers of P3s are brought to light.

CUPE’s opposition to P3s is based on dollars and sense. Case after case illustrates that P3s can lead to higher long term cost, a loss of control of public assets, and greatly diminished public accountability. Auditors General in Quebec and Ontario are taking note that P3s are not all they are cracked up to be, and often fail to transfer risk –  the main rational for taking the P3 route. 

It is ironic that the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships would invite Dalton McGuinty to speak at their conference.  His government’s gas plant fiasco is a stunning example of the problems with P3s. This ‘partnership’ cost Ontarians hundreds of millions in payments to seven hedge funds for the cancellation of the gas plants. In this P3, and in all P3s, the risk clearly rests with the public, dispelling the myth of the P3 business case.

With a $123 billion municipal infrastructure deficit in this country, we need governments to pursue a range of public options – not just pin all spending to an ideological drive to hand over our public infrastructure and services to for-profit corporations.

Yours truly

Paul Moist
National President
Canadian Union of Public Employees

Twitter: @CUPENatPres