Every week, OPSEU's We Own It campaign publishes a newsletter called The We Own It Weekly. It's a round-up of news and information about the growing movement to protect communities from privatization.
And here's the latest issue:
A hat trick against privatization
This week, we bring you three inspiring stories about victories over privatization in Canada.
One is a victory against airport privatization.
Another is a victory over one of hydro privatization's main cheerleaders.
But first, The Owen Sound Sun Times is reporting "new hope" in the campaign to save the long-term care home Grey Gables from being sold off.
After more than a year of community outreach and organizing, activists and We Own It mobilizers in Grey County are on the verge of scoring a major victory in their campaign to save Grey Gables, their public long-term care centre.
Last year, the Grey County Council voted in favour of a scheme to sell off Grey Gables and force the 100+ residents there to move to a new privatized facility in Durham.
The community was outraged and showed it. People packed community meetings and flooded their county councillors with emails and phone messages. They also sent hundreds of messages to the Minister of Health, demanding more funding for more public long-term care.
A group of former Grey County wardens even joined the fray, authoring an open letter declaring that "something smells" about the privatization scheme.
At a Grey County Council meeting yesterday, there was a strong sign that all that activism is paying off.
The council members opened the door to reversing their decision by accepting a new staff proposal that would keep Grey Gables in public hands, build a new long-term care home in Durham, and even save money in the process.
County Council will vote on this new proposal, perhaps as early as May 10.
If you live in Grey County, click here to find your local councillor's email address. Send them an email encouraging them to save Grey Gables.
If you don't live in Grey County, you can still help our movement protect public services across the province. Click here to invite your friends, family, and co-workers to join our movement to save even more public services in communities both large and small!
In the news
The Globe and Mail is reporting that the federal Liberals have shelved their scheme to privatize the country's airports.
“It was like a cloud hanging over the airport model and this brings clarity,” said one of the main opponents of the airport privatization scheme, Ottawa International Airport CEO Marc Laroche.
"[Transport Minister Marc Garneau] confirmed that it's not under active consideration. I was glad."
In an editorial, The Toronto Sun is acknowledging that one of the earliest and loudest critics of hydro privatization was right all along.
"Former Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton’s preoccupation with hydro issues when he ran for the premier’s job in 2003 was called an 'obsession' by the grey, old Globe & Mail. We may have poked fun at him as well," wrote the Sun editors.
"But it turns out Hampton was an early prophet of coming electromagnetic calamity, whose political concerns about hydro privatization and rising rates were prophetic."
We Own It Events
Mississauga town hall to make privatization an election issue
7 p.m. – 9 p.m., Tuesday, May 22, Mississauga Valley Community Centre & Library, 1275 Mississauga Valley Blvd.
Toronto town hall to make privatization an election issue
7 p.m. – 9 p.m., Thursday, May 24, The 519, 519 Church St.
Scarborough town hall to make privatization an election issue
7 p.m. – 9 p.m., Wednesday, May 30, Malvern Community Rec Centre, 30 Sewells Rd.