Ottawa squeezing Alberta municipalities – CUPE

EDMONTON – The Federal government is forcing municipalities and other local agencies to adopt expensive privatization schemes to build much needed public infrastructure. 

That was the view expressed today by CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts.  CUPE Alberta represents 30,000 members, including 12,000 in the municipal sector. 

“Through the P3 Canada fund, Ottawa is telling municipalities that the only way to get funding for much needed road and building projects is to privatize the building and operation of public facilities,” said Roberts.  “Local governments no longer have the option of controlling their own initiatives.” 

Roberts said the world is full of examples of private financing not working on public projects, and pointed to an abandoned project to upgrade London’s underground subway system with private money.

“After the company walked away from the deal, taxpayers were left on the hook,” said Roberts.  “A Parliamentary report pointed to this model of financing and said it was flawed.  Other examples abound.” 

Roberts says that with $120 billion worth of infrastructure projects needed in Canada, municipalities don’t have the option of going ahead without Federal assistance, even if it adds costs to the projects. 

“Our infrastructure has been neglected by provincial and federal Conservatives alike.  We need better roads and newer buildings – but all the evidence points to a privatization model that adds costs to the taxpayer.  So why go down this road?” 

Contact: Marle Roberts, President
CUPE Alberta