"These new forms of privatization may go by different names and use different methods, but the impact on public services and on the people who provide them is the same." — Duncan Cameron, Board Member, Public Services Foundation of Canada
Ottawa (28 Oct. 2014) — Fighting the privatization of public services is the heart of the International Conference on New Forms of Privatization being held in Ottawa from October 28 to October 30. Sponsored by the Public Services Foundation of Canada (PSFC), the conference is bringing experts from England, Australia, and the United States together with frontline Canadian public service workers and labour leaders to discuss emerging new threats to the vital services Canadians rely on.
Conference highlights the global fight to improve and protect public services
"The quality of life in Canada depends on how well public services meet our needs and reduce inequalities amongs us," says Duncan Cameron, PSFC Board Member. "We invest in public services for Canadians to enjoy a healthy society. That's why we fight so hard to keep them accessible, open to accountability and under democratic control."
"Privatization is a growing threat to our valuable public services, as governments across the country introduce new ways to offload responsibility and services to private interests," Cameron said. "These new forms may go by different names and use different methods, but the impact on public services and on the people who provide them is the same."
"By bringing frontline activists together with experts from around the world who are also fighting privatization schemes, we hope to analyze the emerging threats and develop strategies to combat them," said Cameron.
Conference participants to explore what are the new forms of privatization and how we fight them
Conference delegates will hear from international experts as well as from labour representatives who have been on the frontlines fighting the intrusion of privatization into public services across the country.
International speakers include:
- Alex Himelfarb, former Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to Cabinet, and co-editor of Tax is Not a Four-Letter Word
- Dexter Whitfield, Director European Services Strategy Unit and Adjunct Associate Professor, Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre
- Cat Hobbs, founder of U.K.-based We Own It
- Jane Carter, Labour Economist, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees
Privatization Scam of the Year Award to be announced
As a cosponsor of the conference, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) will also be presenting the first-ever Privatization Scam of the Year Award. The online contest has been engaging the public to raise awareness about the privateers who are behind many of the privatization projects across Canada. People get to vote on the worst privatization project to award the Scammie for 2013.
"The Scammie has been a great way to inform the public about the often untold stories surrounding privatization of public services," says James Clancy, NUPGE National President. "By reaching a broader audience, we are continuing to build a movement that is ready to question and oppose privatization in our communities."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE