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OPSEU calls on party Leaders to debate privatization of public services

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The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is calling for an all-party election debate on the future of privatizing public services.

In a letter sent today to the Leaders of the Liberal, Progressive Conservative, the NDP and the Green parties, OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas wrote: “The tension between public and private ownership and operation of services is a significant factor in the current Ontario election. Each party has policies on this policy area. I believe it is time for a public discussion about this matter.”

In his letter to the Leaders, Thomas pointed out there are several aspects to the issue of privatization of public services, including:

  • Is privatization a less expensive way to provide public services?
  • Are some services best suited to public ownership, regardless of cost?
  • How can government assure that services are provided after sale or transfer to the private sector?
  • What is the role of non-profit corporations in the privatization of public services?
  • How does privatization affect the lives of employees who jobs have been privatized?

OPSEU is proposing a televised 90-minute debate moderated by a neutral media figure. It would feature opening statements from the Leaders, their party position on privatization, cross-discussion among the Leaders prompted by questions from the moderator and, finally, closing statements.

“This topic is of vital importance to everyone in Ontario,” Thomas wrote in his letter. “This opportunity provides a stage to have the voices and positions of all parties heard during the election period.”

He said representatives from OPSEU would be contacting each Leader to draw a commitment from them to participate in the debate.

To read a complete copy of OPSEU’s letter to the party Leaders please visit: www.opseu.org and follow the link off the home page.

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Warren (Smokey) Thomas