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ownit! is about keeping and improving the public services that built our province and help keep it strong.
It's about making sure services are affordable, that they cover everyone in Saskatchewan, and that they are the best they can be.
What is privatization?
It's when government sells off services, buildings, equipment — anything related to the delivery of public services. And that:
- Puts profits for private corporations ahead of the interests of families and communities.
- Wastes tax dollars and costs families more.
- Removes public accountability and control.
ownit! » It's for everyone
It's for seniors. It's for families. It's for our kids and grandkids' future.
It's for everywhere
It's for Saskatchewan people living all across our province — but particularly families in smaller communities who need quality services close to home.
It's for every time
So that public services are there — and affordable — when our family, friends and neighbours need them.
Renting forever? Or owning forever!
Privatization? Or public ownership!
Owning just makes more sense for Saskatchewan.
When you own your home instead of renting...
You don't have to rely on a landlord to fix a leaky roof or broken furnace... You don't get hit with sudden, drastic increases just to stay in your home... And the money you pay builds value for your family — not the landlord.
The same goes for Saskatchewan's public services and Crowns. When they stay in public hands...
We set the priorities that make sense for Saskatchewan... We make sure everyone is covered, no matter where in the province they live... And we know that our tax dollars are going to delivering services and building value now and for the future — not to generate profits for giant corporations.
Private profits aren't so LEAN!
Everyone has heard about this. Government's $33 million LEAN experiment with a big American contractor that included flying in Japanese sensei and interpreters — mercifully, the whole debacle ended on March 31, but its impact will live on for awhile longer.
All this while actual health care delivery for actual patients in Saskatchewan remains under-staffed and under-funded.
Arnie still terminating California
Well, it's been a while since the Terminator has been governor of California. But that state is still paying the price for his privatization experiments.
As many other governments are doing right now, Arnie championed a program that would see the state sell state buildings to private corporations and then lease them back — the ultimate in renting rather than owning. But current governor, Jerry Brown, halted the plan in 2011 after independent analysts said it would cost the state far more in lease payments than retaining ownership — to the tune of $1.5 billion!
And the state still had to dish out $24 million to the corporation to make it all go away.
$8 billion loss on Ontario P3s
In late 2014, the news broke from Ontario: The Auditor General there found that Public-Private Partnerships (or P3s) have cost Ontario taxpayers nearly $8 billion more on infrastructure over the past nine years than if the government had successfully built the projects itself.
And it's pretty easy to figure out why: P3s are more expensive because, according to the Auditor General, companies pay about 14 times what the government does for financing, and receive a premium from taxpayers in exchange for taking on the project.
And $47 million later...
That's how much it cost to remove the smart meters SaskPower thrust onto 105,000 customers.
You might recall the removal order was given after it was found that these new, American-supplied smart meters had a tendency to catch fire — ironically because rain water and other contaminants leaked into the meters.
And if that isn't enough to convince you of the profit-before-safety attitude that comes with privatization, a report into the smart meter fires found that, throughout this project, customer safety wasn't enough of a priority — costing former SaskPower CEO, Robert Watson, his job.
Want to pay less for your phone bill? Keep it public!
Saskatchewan is the only province that still has a Crown corporation delivering high quality phone and internet service...
Thank goodness! Because it saves all of us a bundle.
SaskTel keeps rates affordable for families and small businesses — while at the same time delivering, in 2014 alone, $83.7 million in profits back to government to help pay for public services. In summing everything up, SaskTel’s president and CEO, Ron Styles, says prices are up to 45 per cent higher in neighbouring provinces like Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario.
Contracting out... to a private monopoly
Not our words, but those of economist Hugh Grant, whose independent report skewered the government's decision to privatize all of the province's health-based laundry services to K-Bro Linens of Alberta.
Government's privatization means 300 laundry workers are losing their jobs in communities such as Prince Albert, Weyburn, Moose Jaw and Regina — which will have a huge impact on families and the communities. In fact, Grant's report asserts that factoring in loss of employment and the reduction of income in the province as a result of the switch, privatization will cost the residents of Saskatchewan $31.5 million over the next 10 years compared with the best public option.
And once the private contract is up, Grant says, we're left with no option than to pay whatever K-Bro asks for. It will have a monopoly on laundry.
And, yes, hospital workers are already complaining that laundry is coming back from Alberta "dirty, smelly and damaged."
Public liquor sales pay off
Let's look at what really happened when liquor was privatized in Alberta.
Since it went private in 1993, Alberta has lost $1.5 billion in revenue — and when government there tried to increase its revenues to help pay for public services, the private liquor lobby quickly shut them down.>
Bottom line is, public liquor sales here in Saskatchewan help pay for needed public services and create 800 family-supporting jobs around the province, with wages staying in the community.
Take it from government
Yep, government itself — in a briefing note that only became public through a Freedom Of Information request — says building schools through P3s (Public-Private Partnerships) is just a bad idea!
Here's what the government's Ministry of Education briefing note said: P3s are an expensive public procurement approach because they involve higher interest rates, a more expensive bidding process, third party advisers and a profit margin. It is a lengthy process to plan, negotiate and obtain financing.
In addition, it costs more over the short and long run. Take the case of one of the first P3 schools in Calgary, built by Tirion Developments and then leased back to the Board of Education. Because the company cut construction costs and used sub-standard material, the roof sprung leaks after only six months. In all, the Board had to pay more than $100,000 in roof maintenance and upgrades in just the first three years.