Public services and privatization

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Energy. It is the perennial election issue in Ontario, and for good reasons. A series of provincial decisions spanning decades has led to long-term structural problems in the electricity sector. As a result, since 2010, electricity prices have risen dramatically. Predictably, so has inequality and energy poverty.
 Picketers outside George Brown College’s King Street campus in Toronto on November 15, 2017 (Photos by Manzur Malik)
Rush hour at Yonge and Bloor has been rough for some time now (Photo by Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail)
Is your income secure? Do you swipe your credit card at the supermarket without really looking at how much you’re spending? Can you pay all your bills every month? Can you afford your medication? Do your kids have the clothes, shoes and school supplies they need? Is your home safe and warm?
Illustration by Joep Bertrams (Cagle Cartoons)
  Illustrations by Remie Geoffroi This is a story about two elections: the one about the “change” Ontarians might have had if circumstances hadn’t thrown the province into political chaos, and the one we are now facing, which is about change and much more.
Ontarians heading to the polls on June 7 face a stark choice between two visions of government and two styles of governing. The choice they make could reverberate across the country. A Progressive Conservative victory under the leadership of the right-wing populist Doug Ford would almost certainly usher in another period of harsh and unnecessary austerity, and has the potential to set racial and economic justice back decades.
“Crowns are not going to be privatized and subsidiaries are not going to be wound down... Our party will not do anything that that will be destructive to the long-term viability of the Crowns.” - Brad Wall (09/08/2007) "Offering medical services such as an MRI for a fee "seems to be outside the Canada Health Act," and is area where the government doesn't want to tread." - Brad Wall (02/15/2008) “We will not privatize existing government-owned liquor stores.”  - Brad Wall (10/25/2013)
Canada is only months away from legalizing and regulating the production, sale and use of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes. Yet, as we explore in our cover story this issue, the plan is rife with contradictions: a fledgling industry populated by former police chiefs; the fact bills C-45 and C-46 will create dozens of new pot-related offences in the process of removing some of the old ones; the continued prohibition on growing more than four or five plants at home while Canada's "licensed producers" are expected to make billions.
Carillion, a major global player in the promo­tion of Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) has gone into liquidation in the UK. The collapse of this massive company is a case study of all that is wrong with P3s as an approach to building and operating public infrastructure. Carillion sponsored and financed over 60 P3s but more importantly provided the facility management services for them once construction was com­pleted. It was the second largest builder in the UK. It also held many government outsourcing contracts and undertook project financing as well as construction. 

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