If the proposed accounting standards mean the full costs of P3 accounting schemes will have to be reported, it will be a major step forward. Unfortunately, there is good reason to be worried that won’t happen.
A dodgy privatization scheme getting an award from the privatization industry is one more reminder that what’s good for the privatization industry and what’s good for the public are two very different things.
The secrecy and manipulation the report describes are all too typical of P3s and other privatization schemes.
Ottawa (09 Aug. 2019) ― A recent Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) blog post explains why P3 privatization schemes are still being approved. Using a graph from a report by the United Kingdom National Audit Office (NAO) on P3 privatization schemes, the post shows why politicians who only think in the short-term, like P3s.
As long as the federal government continues to take a hands-off approach to the economy and to use P3s and other privatization schemes, there is a good possibility we will see a repeat of the SNC-Lavalin scandal. What’s needed is a change in direction.
Low- or middle-income Canadians who falsely claim too much from government programs will find themselves in court faster than you can say “P3 privatization scheme,” but large corporations walk away with millions and barely get a slap on the wrist.
In the MUHC P3 case, the secrecy surrounding privatization schemes may have been the getaway car that allows those responsible for paying the bribe to escape.
Those pushing social impact bonds are taking the same approach as those profiting from P3 privatization schemes – focus on the new service being provided and hope it distracts people from the problems with the way it’s being funded.
The secrecy that accompanies privatization schemes also makes it a lot harder to figure out when there are serious problems.
What's being done in Britain will look very familiar to Ontario residents who saw how P3 privatization schemes were rebranded in that province.