(Toronto) OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas today released the following statement:
“Today the Ontario Public Service Employees Union begins a two-week radio campaign on more than 60 radio stations across the province to remind the Wynne government that it has absolutely no mandate for its proposed privatization of Hydro One.
“Voters were given no warning of the premier’s newfound privatization zeal. These relentless actions make no sense. We have seen repeatedly that services that are privatized end up costing citizens more money. This has happened from transcription services in the courts to winter road maintenance to medical lab workers in hospitals.
“And as sure as night follows day, scandals follow privatization, as we have seen in ORNGE and eHealth.
“The Ontario public service has been cut drastically in the past twenty years, yet the cost of government has gone up. This is the inevitable consequence of privatization.
“Ontario’s Auditor General, who is the taxpayers’ watchdog, said that involving the private sector in the design, construction and operation of public facilities cost taxpayers more than $8.2 billion of unnecessary expense.
“The privatization of Highway 407 will cost Ontario motorists more than $100 billion in tolls over the life of the contract, but not a penny of this will go to increased public transit or new roadways.
“Public sector workers strive to provide the most cost-effective services to Ontarians. My members take great pride in working for the people of Ontario. They have identified scores of areas where Ontario citizens are paying unnecessarily high taxes because of the high cost of contracting out services. Wynne chooses to ignore these facts.
“The core value of a democracy is equality. Rich or poor, we all have the same right to have our voices heard on matters that affect us. We all have the right to expect a certain standard of access to health care, or education, or other services. And we all have the right to expect that our government will be run for the common good, not to enrich a few well-connected people at public expense.
“Wynne should listen to the people of Ontario. She would hear that Ontarians expect her to protect public services, not destroy them. Public services make our lives better, our communities stronger, and our society fairer. And the people know it.”