OTTAWA, June 9 /CNW Telbec/ - One of the most high-security agencies of
the Canadian government, the Communications Security Establishment Canada
(CSEC), is trying to silence all opposition to its Public-Private Partnership
project for its new building by trying to stop the Public Service Alliance of
Canada from explaining what are the risks for the taxpayers.
Management at CSEC has advised the PSAC that they will block elected
Union leaders from entering the CSEC grounds and talking to union members who
work at CSEC during a planned barbecue.
A demonstration has been set for tomorrow, Wednesday June 10, 11:00 a.m.
in front of the CSEC building on Riverside Drive (adjacent to Canada Post)
before the barbecue. The union is using the event to shed light to the dangers
of the P3 project. According to Maria Fitzpatrick, PSAC Regional Executive
Vice-President for the National Capital Region, "does it really make sense to
allow private contractors to have unprecedented access to the some of the
country's most sensitive information?"
PSAC believes that the federal government is inviting security breaches
by proposing to have the private sector operate this new high security
building. According to John MacLennan, president of the Union of National
Defence Employees - a component of the PSAC -, "It just doesn't make sense to
hand over the design and maintenance of critical, high-security infrastructure
to the private sector." PSAC members provide essential security services to
MacLennan and union members are going to hand out leaflets in front of
the CSEC building to explain why they oppose to this project. The union was
informed in May by CSEC management that it intends to build and operate new
facilities through a P3 arrangement that would see the private sector bid on a
contract to design, build, fund and maintain the facility.
"Saying that a P3 would facilitate quicker completion and place all of
the risk of the contract on the private sector is ridiculous," says MacLennan.
"The Canadian landscape is littered with P3s that have failed to come in
either on time or on budget and the public is always left holding the bag."
"We only have to look at the recent P3 project at the Royal Ottawa
Hospital to be scared," adds Maria Fitzpatrick. "This is one project that went
so wrong that the original costs have increase by 50%. Just imagine the dire
consequences at CSEC where secrecy is paramount. Security is too important to
hand it out to the private sector."
The CSEC provides IT network security and foreign intelligence gathering.
CSEC has already been cited by the Auditor General for potential breaches in
security created when outside contractors have been used. With the P3 project,
over 130 people providing critical logistical services at CSE would be
transferred from the public service to the private sector. How long will it
take for there to be an even more serious breach of security?
The union is urging Parliamentarians to demand the CSEC business case
that led to the P3 option to allow for a thorough examination into the
assumptions being made about P3s.
For further information:
For further information: Maria Fitzpatrick, REVP-PSAC, (613) 560-4380;
John MacLennan, National President, UNDE, (613) 639-5180