We Own It Weekly: Celebrate Canada’s public services!

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On Canada Day, let’s celebrate our amazing public services

Canada turns 151 years old on Sunday. What better time to reflect on the birthday gift that we’ve all given ourselves: the amazing public services that make our country so great.


Our universal health care system might be the jewel of our crown, but it’s far from the only incredible public service that we’ve built together for the benefit of all.

There’s our amazing network of affordable schools, colleges, and universities. Our parks and waterways. The Trans-Canada Highway. And programs like Social and Developmental Services that ensure we can all live healthy, meaningful lives, and the Canadian Pension Plan and Old Age Security that ensure we can all retire with dignity.

And that’s just scratching the surface.

We’d love to hear from you: send us your nomination for our list of public services that make Canada so great.

Why Ontario shouldn’t sell the rest of Hydro One

Toronto Star engineer and energy market analyst Scott Travers argues that if it was a bad idea to partially sell Hydro One, it would be an even worse idea to sell it completely.

“A privatized Hydro One would saddle future generations with more expensive, less reliable energy, and an annual billion-dollar hole in the province’s revenues.”

“So if selling Hydro One is an expensive way to get cash that leads to higher costs for taxpayers and more expensive power prices while limiting the government’s ability to make important policy decisions, who benefits?”

“The short answer is investors. Regulated electricity assets represent virtually risk-free investments with guaranteed rates of return through the regulator. This makes them ideal targets for Bay Street. That is the source of any push to fully privatize Hydro One.”

As Trump jails families, corporations profit

The decision of the Trump administration to separate parents and children caught crossing the U.S. border has appalled people around the world.

Donald Trump’s executive order of June 20, which replaces the policy of separating children with one of detaining entire families, is no better. But as the National Union of Public and General Employees points out, policies that increase the number of immigrants being detained mean larger profits for private companies.

74 per cent of immigrants detained in the United States are in facilities operated by private prison companies. That means a large portion of the $2.7 billion that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) expects to spend on detaining immigrants in 2018 will go to private prison companies.

GEO Group and CoreCivic, the two largest private prison companies in the United States, each donated $250,000 to Donald Trump’s inauguration. During the 2016 election, a GEO Group subsidiary donated $225,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC (political action committee).

That support has been repaid. In addition to reversing the Obama administration’s plan to phase out the use of private prisons, Trump’s immigration policies mean more people being kept in custody and more demand for private detention facilities.

Speaking of Trump … Congress is saying a big ‘no’ to his scheme to privatize the post office

Trump wants to privatize the U.S. Postal Service but he isn’t getting much support in Congress.

The publication Government Executive reports that “Lawmakers across the ideological spectrum showed little interest in Trump’s transformation, defending the Postal Service as an essential government service.

“Like so many other ideas that come out of this White House, President Trump’s proposal to privatize the Postal Service is disorganized, unilateral, nonsensical, and frankly, incompetent,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.

Visit www.weownit.ca for more information

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.

To receive the newsletter directly, you can sign up for it on the We Own It website. You can also keep in touch with the campaign through its Facebook page and Twitter feed.

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