"These consultants are paid to do one job, and part of that job is toeing the government line.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (14 Nov. 2018) — A startling media report has surfaced that shows Manitoba's Pallister government has spent more than $16 million to date on 20 different studies done by private consultants.
Private consultants tend to toe government line
“This should be concerning to all Manitobans. This is $16 million that could have been spent on delivering frontline services. Instead, they’re spending our tax dollars to fill the pockets of professional ‘privatizers,’” said Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE). “The fact that this is only for high-profile studies makes you wonder how much more money they’ve wasted trying to justify their privatization plans and cuts to public services.”
The report quotes Winnipeg political scientist Paul Thomas,as saying consultants tend to "do the bidding of the political masters.” He added, "If you’re in the consulting business, you don’t want to burn your bridges by saying to government, ‘there’s far less money to be saved here, and these programs are not as bad as you think they are.'"
Gawronsky says, “Our members understand the importance of being fiscally responsible, but they can’t understand why the government is spending millions of dollars on high-priced consultants when you could get sound reliable advice on how to improve services from those on the frontline. Like the professor said, these consultants are paid to do one job, and part of that job is toeing the government line.”
Manitoba government maintains course on privatizing public services despite it costing more
The government has not been shy in chipping away at public services since being elected in 2016. They have losed Quick Care clinics, ERs, and government offices such as the Department of Families office in Killarney. Along with that, they’ve slated Pineland Forest Nursery for privatization, privatized more of the home care program, and are taking steps to sell off the air services branch that operates Manitoba’s fleet of water bombers and critical air ambulance program. In addition, the government has eliminated 1,200 jobs in the civil service, squeezing workers to the point that they're having to manage their own workload as well as that of another.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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