Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

March 10, 2015 12:22 ET

P3s: Pay more, get less - CUPE NL

CORNER BROOK, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwired - March 10, 2015) - CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas is urging Premier Davis not to get dragged into any Public-Private Partnerships, so-called P3s.

Lucas says, "At least three provincial Auditor Generals have questioned the value of P3s. In short, they've said these are shady deals where there is no demonstrated value for money for taxpayers.

"There are countless examples of where taxpayers have been fleeced by private 'partners' in these projects. The biggest and most recent example is Montreal's new mega-hospital which is embroiled in a huge corruption and bribery scandal, with Arthur Porter in the middle of it all."

Porter's extradition to face charges in Quebec has been put on hold while his lawyer continues to file motions before the Supreme Court of Panama, where he is currently in prison.

Other examples include the Confederation Bridge in PEI, which is owned by an international consortium that's charging motorists almost $50 every time they use it, and more than 1,100 kilometers of toll highways in New Brunswick that are owned and operated by private companies.

Says Lucas, "I get very worried when I see the premier on social media promoting an upcoming conference on P3s being hosted by the St. John's Board of Trade. Their keynote speaker is a person who used to be Prime Minister Paul Martin's Chief of Staff.

"This sure looks to me like a bunch of business elites coming together to discuss how they can sell off billions of dollars in public assets, and reward their political friends while they're doing it.

"Given what has just happened in Montreal, I certainly hope the premier is not considering a P3 model for the long-awaited new hospital in Corner Brook. Even former Premier Williams warned against any kind of P3s in healthcare," he says.

Says Lucas, "This is not the direction our province needs to go in. Our public services are not for sale. P3s are nothing more than a financial sleight of hand, where the private partner gets all the profit and the public assumes all of the risk," says Lucas.

Contact Information

  • Wayne Lucas
    President, CUPE NL
    (709) 727-2509 (m)

    John McCracken
    CUPE Communications Representative
    (902) 880-8057 (m)