HAMILTON According to an Ipsos-Reid poll released today, Canadians reject private sector funding of or involvement in key public services.
Canadians somewhat agree or strongly agree that:
- Canada’s public services should be delivered by public sector workers accountable to elected representatives and the public, not by corporations accountable to shareholders (84%)
- Canada should rebuild its public infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools, highways and water systems, through direct public investment and not through public-private joint ventures with corporations (75%)
- Canada’s health care system should exclude corporations that operate for-profit, and instead rely solely on public and not-for-profit health care providers (64%)
This stands in stark contrast to the policies advocated by the federal and some provincial governments, which have been actively pursuing public-private partnerships (P3s) and selling-off public assets.
“When Paul Martin starts talking about transformative change of the health care system, look out,” said Paul Moist, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “The Liberals seem to be listening to their corporate backers rather than Canadians when it comes to the public services we all count on.
Were not surprised by these results because we work with the public every day and we see what they see, said Moist. When you privatize public services, costs rise and corners are cut. You cant get service or you cant afford it and theres no one you can hold to account. Public services are the glue that hold our communities together and we dont want them sold off.
Years of coordinated assaults on our public system by corporate forces like the Canadian Council on P3s, right-wing think-tanks like the Fraser Institute and for-profit companies like Chubb Insurance Corporation have failed to convince Canadians that for-profit health care is the answer, says Council of Canadians Chairperson Maude Barlow.
This poll is a wake-up call to all politicians: listen to the values of Canadians and stop privatizing our essential services, adds Barlow. It is a message we will keep hammering home during the upcoming election and one that politicians will ignore at their own risk.
The Ipsos-Reid poll was conducted with 1057 Canadian adults between March 30 and April 1, 2004 and was commissioned by the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). The results are considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, and are available at www.ipsos-reid.com
For more information, please contact:
David Robbins, CUPE: (tel) 613.237.1590 ext 268; (cell) 613.878.1431
Laura Sewell, Council of Canadians: (tel) 613.233.4487 ext 234; (cell) 613.795.8685