OTTAWA The Ontario Conservative government is trying to hide its privatization plans for an Ottawa hospital, even though the public is demanding accountability, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
According to a recent Vector poll of 1,023 Canadians:
- 87% say P3 (public-private partnership) deals should be subject to public and media scrutiny;
- 80% say governments should have to prove that P3s save money;
- 64% say multinational corporations should not own public facilities such as hospitals.
The Eves government is making a last-minute secret deal with a multinational corporation to privatize Royal Ottawa Hospital, says Judy Darcy, National President of CUPE, but the public isnt being allowed to see it. This shows Eves contempt for democracy. No deal should be signed until we get all the facts. And nothing should be done that ties down a new government that doesnt like this deal.
The government is modeling its hospital privatization plans after similar projects in Britain. Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, says the P3 projects in that country have been a complete failure. There has been a 30% cut in beds and clinical staff, as well as cancelled operations and long waiting lists for surgery.
The British system is not one that we should copy, says Hurley, who traveled to Britain to study P3s there. Now, Ernie Eves wants us to trust him that ROH privatization is a good deal. But why should we trust him if he wont even show us the contract?
Darcy and Hurley are calling on Eves to release the details of the deal before Ontarians go to the polls on October 2, so voters can pass judgment on the plan. If Eves doesnt release the deal, CUPE is prepared to go to court and force an injunction.
This whole process has taken place behind closed doors, between the premier and his financial backers, says Darcy. Polls show that the public demands accountability, and thats what the public deserves.
For more information:
CUPE National Communications
(613) 237-1590 ext. 268 (work)
(613) 798-6925 (cell.)