OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas’ demand that ServiceOntario remain in public hands was formally read into the official record of Ontario’s Legislative Assembly on May 15. In correspondence to Premier Dalton McGuinty on May 14, Thomas said the government must withdraw the controversial section of this year’s budget bill that privatizes ServiceOntario.
MPP Paul Miller (Hamilton East–Stoney Creek), the NDP’s critic for Government Services, rose in the Legislature and read into Hansard the OPSEU president’s correspondence to McGuinty. When he finished, Miller went on to describe the scheme to privatize ServiceOntario as a “nightmare in the making.” Later in Question Period, Miller asked Ontario’s Finance Minister Dwight Duncan: “Can the Minister explain why he is pushing ahead with legislation that replicates many of the failures of ORNGE?”
Duncan failed to reply directly to Miller’s question and instead repeated his tired and familiar reply about getting the province “back to balance.” As on many previous occasions, Duncan could not explain how giving away to private investors a valuable public asset that adds $2.7 billion annually to the provincial treasury will help Ontario balance its budget and invest in essential public services at the same time.
Please read President Thomas’ letter to the Premier, share it with your colleagues and post it in your work place. Please email your MPP and tell them that tossing away annual revenues of $2.7 billion by privatizing ServiceOntario qualifies as one of the most short-sighted and, potentially, dangerous decisions our government has ever made. It’s not too late to have this reckless decision turned back.
Service Ontario Campaign Material
- 8 things you need to know about the further privatization of ServiceOntario: B & W, Colour
- List of government-operated ServiceOntario counters: Colour
- Choose Public wristband