For Immediate Release:

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Public Private Partnerships In Long Term Care Wrong Move for the Province

St. JOHN’S, NL – Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) President (elect) Jerry Earle is expressing his fierce opposition to the government’s announcement that they will be moving to a public private partnership (P3) model for long term care in the province.

“In no uncertain terms, this is an attack on the public healthcare system and on the public sector workers who provide this vital service to the people of the province,” said NAPE President Elect Jerry Earle. “This is another move by this government, championed by employer groups who stand to make huge profits from these agreements, towards a greater role for the private sector in the delivery of public services. Make no mistake; we will fight this privatization agenda.”

Public-private partnerships (P3s) involve commercial contracts between governments and private businesses in the design, construction, financing and operation of public infrastructure and services that have traditionally been delivered by the public sector, such as hospitals or schools.

In almost every example, governments across Canada and around the world claim that P3s are ‘innovative’ and ‘more efficient’, but the real world experience shows that the opposite is true. P3s are not a new and innovative idea; they have been around for decades. So, too, has their failure.

Research and real world experience in other jurisdictions highlights some serious flaws in how governments tally the benefits of public-private partnerships versus conventional public projects.

“You don’t have to look very far to see the failures of the P3 model. The Ontario Auditor General recently released a damning report about the P3 projects in that province, saying that the projects cost over $8 billion more than if they had been publicly financed and operated. A similar picture emerged in British Colombia, when the Auditor General there said that a P3 project was completed on time, but the final cost was 29% ($28 million) higher. The list goes on and on,” said Earle. “P3s have been about private investors and companies dipping their hands in the public purse, at the expense of taxpayers. Essentially, taxpayers and future governments are left holding the bag for projects that this government can take credit for in the short term, all while businesses line their pockets.”

“We are calling on government abandon this wasteful model and to commit to a quality, publicly funded, designed, and operated system of long term care in this province,” stated Earle. “If they insist on moving forward with this ill-fated plan, we will have no choice but to do everything in our power to make them pay the political price.”

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For further information please contact:

Keith Dunne, NAPE Campaigns and Communications Coordinator

(phone) 709.570.2501             (cell) 709.631.9737        (e-mail)