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CUPE’s released a new report that blows the whistle on the corporations pushing privatization of Canada’s public services - and shows privatization is costing taxpayers dearly.

Entitled Who’s Pushing Privatization?, the report exposes the yawning gap between corporations eager to cash in on public services and Canadians bearing the brunt of privatization.

A wide-ranging survey of decision-makers and opinion shapers included in the report demonstrates that business leaders are uncon-cerned about the consequences of privatization and eager for further services to be sold off.

In contrast, a new poll conducted by HRSG Workscans shows four out of five Canadians are clearly concerned about privatization of public services, and are deeply suspicious of why it’s taking place.

“Canadians know they end up paying the price. They’ve seen what happens when services like health care fall into private hands,” said National President Judy Darcy.

“Corporations have no place in our hospitals, our schools, our water,” she added. “Governments are taking a dangerous turn down the wrong road when they hand corporations ownership and control of our services,” said Darcy.

Far from saving the public money, privatization and P3s cost taxpayers more. From a New Brunswick lease-back school costing an extra $900,000 to welfare “reform” in Ontario that has meant huge cost overruns and phantoms savings, privatization is lining corporate pockets without any benefit for Canadians.

“In this report we blow the whistle on the greed motivating the privatization pushers. Take Alberta, where private health care giant MDS is backing both Ralph Klein’s Tories and the private clinic that stands to reap huge profits from Klein’s private hospital scheme. If the privatization pushers have their way in Alberta, it will open the door to two-tier, for-profit medicine across the country,” says Darcy.

“We’re calling on governments to listen to the people who elect them and resist the privatization pushers. We have money for public services like Medicare - but it’s being handed to corporations. Privatization costs more and you get less in return. Money in government surpluses should be redirected and reinvested to strengthen public services. It’s the best value for our money, and it’s what Canadians want.”

The 2000 Annual Report on Privatization will be mailed next week to each Local in a general mailing. Additional copies are also available at CUPE Area Offices. As well, the full text and graphics are available on CUPE’s web site at www.cupe.ca.