Privatization of public services 'a cash cow' for select few

TORONTO, Jan. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - The government takeover of ORNGE air ambulance should serve as warning to taxpayers that the privatization of public services only succeeds in harming services and making a select few executives millionaires with public money, says the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU, said the government needs to learn from their mistakes and immediately halt any plans to privatize government-run services such as ServiceOntario.

"How many spending scandals must this government deal with before they learn that privatizing public services harms the public?" asked Thomas. "First there was eHealth, now ORNGE. The only thing these ventures accomplished was to create a cash cow for a few corporate executives, who lined their pockets with millions in taxpayers' money."

Roxanne Barnes, elected chair of Ontario's 40,000 direct government employees, says that government plans to privatize the province's ServiceOntario locations will only lead to the same problems with out-of-control spending and service reductions.

"When people pay their taxes, they expect services to be efficient, well-run and accountable with their money," Barnes said. "What gets proven over and over is that when the government gives up responsibility for delivering services, it's the taxpayers who pay more in the long run."

Thomas says that the Ontario government needs to finally learn from their mistakes and stop letting private operators profit from services and public money.

"Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results," Thomas said. "We need sound thinking from this government and for them to stop bowing to corporate pressure to turn public services into get-rich schemes. The only way to be accountable for services to have them run by accountable, elected officials and delivered by professional public-sector workers. The Premier's plans for more privatization will just create more messes that he has to go back and clean up."

SOURCE OPSEU

For further information:

Roxanne Barnes - 416-809-2791

Don Ford, OPSEU Communications - 416-448-7442


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