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:
The dangers of alcohol in corner stores
Doug Ford has said he won’t leave a stone unturned looking for opportunities to privatize public services.
And now he’s turned over something truly dangerous with his promise to accelerate the privatization of alcohol sales.
“It’s utterly stupid and irresponsible,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas about Ford’s promise to privatize alcohol sales to corner stores and more grocery stores. “It’s great for the private sector but crappy for Ontarians.
“Putting alcohol next to milk sends the wrong message to highly impressionable children and youth,” Thomas said. “Alcohol is already the leading cause of death among teens. There’s no way we should make it easier for them to get a hold of it.”
Privatizing alcohol sales is also bad for people’s pocketbooks, leading to less revenue for public services and even higher prices for consumers.
To help spread the word about the dangers of privatized alcohol sales – and privatization in general – click here.
In the news
In The Globe and Mail, University of Toronto professor David Zarnett analyzes the recent privatization of gaming in the GTA and concludes that the government made much less on the scheme than it should have.
“Reminiscent of the privatization of Highway 407, the sale involves a massive transfer of wealth from the Government of Ontario, and ultimately all Ontarians, to the private sector,” Zarnett writes. “This is yet another example of the government’s inability to receive maximum value for its assets.”
For the third time in 10 years, private corporations have failed in their efforts to privatize the UK’s East Coast rail line, handing it back to the public.
“Three private companies failed on the East Coast route in 10 years. Its only successful period was under public ownership,” Opposition Transport Critic Andy McDonald tweeted. “[The Conservatives] are defending a broken system at the passengers expense.”
A pair of academics are issuing a fresh warning about the unintended consequences of privatization.
The Conversation reports that professors from Rutgers and the University of Antwerp have studied privatization and concluded that privatized services offer lower-quality services for racialized and minority citizens.
“Our research suggests that privatizing human services such as health care can result in less access for groups perceived as harder to serve because of language barriers and cultural differences,” the professors concluded. “Unfortunately, they also happen to be the groups that need such services the most.”
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, Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto 5183 Sheppard Ave. East, Scarborough