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From the Owen Sound Sun Times

Saturday, December 15


It is telling that even a Conservative special interest group like the Fraser Institute is alarmed by the cost to the public of the Harper government’s agenda.

But it is bizarre that the authors of this week’s column on one hand criticized spending scandals such as the private sector procurement of an icebreaker, and on the other hand called for more privatization and public-private partnerships.

Here in Ontario, our economy is suffering because of misguided attempts to privatize public services. Nobody will soon forget the hundreds of millions wasted on private gas plants. Many of us still remember the billions wasted by the provincial Tories on their spectacularly bad idea to privatize the energy sector.

And has the Fraser Institute not heard of Ornge? If you need proof of the costs of privatization, that one’s hard to miss.

And then there are public-private partnerships -those darlings of the Institute that divert public money from providing public services into the pockets of private investors.

How well do they work? Well, in Brampton the public got a hospital with 129 fewer beds than planned for, with a construction cost that was $200 million more than planned.

The auditor general also estimated that we would have saved “tens of millions” if laundry, food, cleaning and security services had not been privatized. Oh, and those costs are all on the shoulders of us, the citizens, not paid by the private side of the equation which raked in at least $2.7 billion on the project.

That’s just one of many examples here in Ontario. And it’s the truth that folks like Tim Hudak and the Fraser Institute don’t want you to hear.

Fred Hahn President, CUPE Ontario