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:
NDP gets an A on our interim report card
For the past several weeks, We Own It supporters have been asking their candidates to fill out a short survey indicating where they stand on the issue of privatization.
We’ve also emailed the survey to the candidates, and also to the parties’ main headquarters.
The candidates have until next week to submit their responses, but with less than a week to the provincial election, we’re ready to issue our interim report card:
The NDP gets an A. The Greens, Liberals, and Progessive Conservatives all get an incomplete (with a warning that time is running out!)
The NDP is the only party that has so far committed to protecting our public services from privazition. A number of NDP candidates have individually submitted a completed survey, and the party itself has completed the survey on behalf of all 124 candidates. All are opposed to privatization.
A couple of notable responses:
- On the question of whether privatization has been generally successful, Scarborough Southwest NDP candidate Doly Begum said: “Not at all, in fact, it’s been the opposite. I managed the “Keep Hydro Public” Campaign across Ontario and have seen this first hand.”
- On the question “what’s the first thing that comes to mind about privatization,” Orleans NDP candidate Barbara Zarboni said: “Oh come on, only one choice? Unaccountable, service & safety cuts, higher costs. What about lower wages without benefits for employees?”
- We asked the candidates to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 the success of various privatizations. 5 is completely successful and 1 is completely unsuccessful. Ottawa Vanier NDP candidate Lyra Evans rated P3s “-1”.
A single Green party candidate has completed the survey: he believes privatization could be workable in some areas.
Not a single Liberal or Progressive Conservative candidate has indicated where they stand.
If you’d like to encourage your Green, Liberal, and Conservative candidates to complete the survey, you still can:
- Click here to download a printable version of the survey that you can keep by your front door — when a candidate comes knocking, ask them to fill it out. Once a candidate has filled out the survey, scan it or take a snapshot of it, and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Click here if you’d like to send the survey to your candidates via email.
Once we start receiving responses from the candidates, we’ll publish the results on our website.
In the news
Some organizations in Saskatchewan are breathing a sigh of relief as Bill 40 — which would allow the province to sell up to 49 per cent of a Crown corporation without public consultation — was repealed last week.
The bill faced staunch opposition from the NDP, as well as unions and the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL). “While Bill 40 is finally dead we will continue our efforts to protect Crowns from all types of privatization, such as contracting out, piecemeal sell-offs, and any attempts to get rid of minor Crowns that don’t fall under protection legislation,” Larry Hubich, SFL president, said in a press release published by the CBC.
The Indian government had hoped to privatize its national airline, but learned a hard lesson about companies involved in the privatization industry: they don’t like risk.
CNN Money reports that bidding for the national carrier closed Thursday without a single prospective buyer coming forward.
CNN reports that Air India is a major player in an aviation market that is projected to be the world’s third biggest airline by 2026, but the carrier has a debt of more than $7 billion. The government wanted the new owner to take on $5 billion of that.
Nearly seven in 10 Brazilians are against the government’s plan to sell off nearly $30 billion in assets, including the oil company Petrobras and the electric utility Electrobas.
Brazilian broadcaster Telesure reports that 69 per cent of Brazilians are against the Petrobas privatization because of “increased prices for products and services, sacking of workers and reduced salaries as reasons for not wanting public companies privatized.”
The public opposition to the privatizations echo the concerns of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who said of the privatizers: “When they have nothing left to sell, they’ll sell their souls to the devil.”
Lula da Silva said privatization will lead to a rise in public debts and force Brazil to resort to its international reserves, funds that, in his opinion, should be used to rebuild the Brazilian economy.