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Auditor General’s report shows P3 agenda cost Ontario an extra $8 billion

TORONTO, ON – Today’s report from the provincial auditor general shows Ontario needs an immediate moratorium on privatization projects.

“Today’s report from the auditor general makes it clear: privatization doesn’t save money. In fact, public-private partnership schemes have cost the public at least $8 billion over the last decade,” said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn. “The auditor general revealed that there is no empirical data to support the case for contracting out. With this in mind, we are calling for an immediate moratorium on privatization and P3 projects in the province.”

In addition to the $8 billion in added costs, the report also revealed that Infrastructure Ontario is favouring P3s based on assumptions that are not backed up by data. CUPE Ontario is also calling on Infrastructure Ontario to reveal all the costs related to these P3 contracts, many of which remain hidden from public scrutiny. Without full details of all costs related to these projects, it is impossible to assess their total cost to the province.

“All public-private partnerships do is divert public money from public services and into private profits,” said Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario. “Rather than investing in public child care, keeping hospitals and schools open, and dealing with huge shortages in affordable housing, the Liberals have thrown away a sum almost the size of the City of Toronto’s entire budget.”

CUPE Ontario has fought against costly P3s for years. When service delivery is public, the priority is on quality service delivery and development. In corporate hands, the priorities shift to profits, which come either through higher costs or by cutting corners on staffing, service levels and safety.

“We keep getting told there’s no money for services, there’s no money for poverty reduction, we have to cut everything to reduce the deficit. Turns out we could have tackled poverty, improved public services and lowered the debt,” said Hahn. “If the Liberals hadn’t gone P3-crazy and hadn’t slashed corporate tax rates, we’d have a strong, prosperous province that takes care of its citizens.”

CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with members providing quality public services we all rely on in every part of the province every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.


For more information, please contact:

Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316