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A recent Fraser Institute study claims to have found $125 billion in “government waste”, and calls for increased privatization as the solution to its manufactured problem. CUPE National President Paul Moist’s response in the National Post debunks the Institute’s push to privatize.

Here’s the full text of his letter, published in the Post on Oct. 26, 2007:

To really waste money, set up a P3

Re: Ottawa Blamed For $125b In Waste, Oct. 25.

The Fraser Institute rails against federal government “waste, mismanagement and incompetence” in its new study. Yet one of its centrepiece remedies –privatization through public-private partnerships –is an example of all three.

P3s waste public dollars. Stephen Harper’s Building Canada infrastructure fund forces municipalities into these inefficient schemes, despite evidence that publicly funded and delivered infrastructure and services provide better value for money.

The Conservatives have also launched a new federal agency dedicated to pushing privatization, which will additionally act an assessor of P3s. But competent, objective assessments will be difficult, as the much-heralded Federal Accountability Act excluded contracts and P3s from increased accountability and transparency provisions. That’s a major problem when we’re talking about billions of dollars in public funds.

Paul Moist, national president, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Ottawa.

Source: National Post, Fri 26 Oct 2007, p. A17