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CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador members have warned Premier Roger Grimes he’s in for a big fight if he continues to push P3s. At a conference to organize resistance, CUPE members pledged to make P3s a major issue in the upcoming provincial election.

Despite urging unions to “keep an open mind” on P3s, the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador appears to have made up his mind to push the schemes for long-term care and other public services. The premier declined an invitation to the province’s first ever P3 conference, put together by CUPE in early March.

CUPE is taking the lead in organizing labour’s fight against P3s in the province, ensuring that other unions are well informed and on board.

Since floating P3s as an idea last fall, the government has been actively pushing the scheme to build new long-term care facilities. In late February, the premier told the media if a new facility in Corner Brook was built as a P3 “it will not be a budget issue,” displaying his ignorance about the accounting shenanigans and financial follies that come with public private partnerships. P3s just hide debt, and they end up costing more – pretty serious budget issues.