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Conservative Leader Patrick Brown admits previous privatizations were a ‘mistake’ – but won’t commit to a process to stop similar mistakes in the future

Former Conservative leader Patrick Brown speak to OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida during a We Own It rally in Penetanguishene

Penetanguishene – The politician leading the polls to be Ontario’s next Premier admitted today that his party has made privatization mistakes in the past. But Conservative leader Patrick Brown stopped short of committing to an open and transparent process that would prevent privatization mistakes in the future.

“We have to learn from the mistakes of the past,” said Brown, pointing to the Liberal government’s privatization of Hydro One and also to the previous Conservative government’s costly and deeply unpopular privatization of Highway 407. “[The privatization of] the 407 didn’t work out as people had hoped.”

Brown was speaking during a barbecue being hosted by the OPSEU-supported We Own It campaign in front of Central North Correction Centre in Penetanguishene.

“Some things just aren’t for sale,” OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida told Brown. “Our hospitals. Our schools. Our highways. Our water. Our air. Our health and safety.

“And so I’m asking you today to sign our Public Services Pledge to make sure that the same kinds of mistakes that you mentioned aren’t allowed to happen again.”

The pledge contains three commitments:

  • to call a moratorium on the privatization of any Ontario public service or asset without first putting the privatization proposal through a rigorous and credible review to evaluate its long-term costs and service impacts;
  • to ensure that all reviews of privatization proposals will be fully public and transparent, including the publication of all financial and operational details of the privatization proposal;
  • to review all of Ontario’s currently privatized services and assets in order to determine if insourcing them would lower costs and/or improve quality and safety.

Brown took a copy of the pledge but refused to sign it, saying that he and his caucus would
consider it.

For more information: Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, 289-439-2135