Privatization proponents get even more shameless

“Having the person who increased the deficit by cutting corporate taxes suggest we solve the problem he created by privatizing more public services makes the strategy privatization proponents are following unbelievably obvious.” — James Clancy, NUPGE National President.

cover page for publication Privatization: Same  old game, brand new threats. Ottawa (03 July 2014) — Anyone who doesn't believe privatization is about lining the pockets of large corporations should take a long hard look at who is pushing governments to privatize more public services. 

Push for privatization of public services orchestrated by companies who aim to run them

MAXIMUS, a company that makes money operating contracted-out government services, helped fund an Ontario Chamber of Commerce report on privatization that was released in April. Not surprisingly, many of the services the report recommended be privatized are ones MAXIMUS would like to operate.

For the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, privatization seems to be their favourite form of corporate welfare. Much of the agenda for its 2014 economic summit is devoted to how the Ontario government can help businesses make money through P3 privatization deals and selling off valuable public assets. 

Then, it was the turn of the insurance industry. On June 25, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association called for governments to provide more P3s so they have a place to invest their money.

Corporate push for privatization blatant example of Privatization Playbook strategy

But the shamelessness of corporations asking governments to increase their profits by privatizing more public services pales in comparison to how they're trying to justify it. Even though audits and studies have repeatedly shown P3 privatization deals cost more than traditional procurement, business groups are still claiming that privatization will reduce the deficit. 

But there is further proof of a created crisis when we realize that one of the authors of the MAXIMUS/Ontario Chamber of Commerce report is the former provincial minister of finance who helped create the deficit by cutting taxes for large corporations. In 2009, Dwight Duncan made wealthy corporations even wealthier by cutting their taxes. Now Duncan wants them to have another windfall by giving them the chance to make large profits running public services.

“Several years ago we labelled the strategy privatization proponents follow to undermine public services as the Privatization Playbook”, said James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). “They use the combination of tax cuts and the resulting deficit to justify privatizing public services. It's the classic example of the Privatization Playbook in action."

Clancy added that even though the strategy privatization proponents are using is right out of the Privatization Playbook, he is still surprised at how blatant they're being.

"The deficit was increased as a result of massive tax cuts for corporations. Now, we see the same person suggesting we solve the deficit problem by privatizing more public services. It makes their privatization strategy unbelievably obvious." said Clancy.

More information: 

Privatization: Same old game, brand new threats


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