Given more than 30 years of experience with privatization, one might imagine that governments would have perfected the process, avoiding all the worst mistakes that might plague the transfer of a public asset or service to the private sector. And yet, despite three decades of experience, governments rarely seem to get privatization right, and often get it wrong with astonishing regularity.
Privatization Nation: The Canada-wide Failure of Privatization, Outsourcing and Public-Private Partnerships examines some of the most egregious failures of privatization in the country over the past few years. The report recommends that governments’ adopt much broader criteria when considering the privatization option to ensure that the wider public interest is taken into account. Governments’ should also recognize the growing movement to return formerly privatized assets and services to public control – what has been called “re-municipalization” or “in-sourcing – that has been gaining speed across the globe over the past decade. The report highlights some of the successful re-muncipalization and in-sourcing efforts that have occurred more recently in Canada.