“The fact that these projects — ones that P3 proponents see as successful — are experiencing these problems shows why it’s time to pull the plug on P3 privatization schemes.” — James Clancy, National President NUPGE
Ottawa (01 Sept. 2015) — Recent problems at two flagship P3 privatization schemes show why people who care about public services don’t like P3s. At the Toronto South Detention Centre, P3 issues have ranged from malfunctioning locks to defective windows. At the McGill University Health Centre P3 sewage on the floor of the birthing centre is just the latest in a series of serious problems.
“The Toronto South Detention Centre P3 was described as a 'model' for future institutions by the Ontario Ministry of Corrections, while the McGill University Health Centre P3 received a gold award from the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships,” said NUPGE National President James Clancy.
“The fact that these projects — ones that P3 proponents see as successful — are experiencing these problems shows why it’s time to pull the plug on P3 privatization schemes.”
Toronto P3 jail defects are serious safety issues
The problems with the Toronto South Detention Centre P3 affect the safety of staff, inmates, and potentially, the public.
Inmates are able to easily break many of the locks. Even though members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) reported it several months ago, the problem has still not been fixed.
With the windows, not only are inmates able to break 20 per cent of them but it is the Ontario public who will be paying to replace the windows. Even though any reasonable person would believe unbreakable windows would be required at a correctional facility, because it was not specifically mentioned in the P3 contract, the private consortium that built the jail is off the hook.
This is just the latest in a string of problems. Others include a computer system that takes up to five minutes to open doors and an X-ray machine to detect smuggled items that has not worked since the facility opened.
Montreal hospital P3 privatization scheme subject of police investigation
Like the issues with locks and windows at the Toronto South Detention Centre P3, sewage flooding the birthing centre is only the latest problem with the McGill University Health Centre P3.
While this P3 privatization scheme won a gold award for finance from the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships, when police got a closer look, they started laying fraud charges. To date, nine people have been charged in connection with a $22 million fraud in the awarding of the contract for the McGill University Health Centre P3 privatization scheme.
This is in addition to between 3,000 and 14,000 construction defects.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 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