April 29, 2009

Privatization breaking news

Los Angeles is looking at privatizing their parking meters for cash up front (they spent $500,000 on a study). But experience in places like Chicago demonstrates taxpayers could lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars over the life of these long contracts. See here.

April 23, 2009

CUPE delegates call for moratorium on private power

Emergency resolution at union’s annual convention targets run-of-river projects in B.C.

VICTORIA— Delegates to the 46th annual convention of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, B.C. division, unanimously passed an emergency resolution today that calls for an integrated sustainable energy plan and an end to private power projects in B.C.

April 20, 2009

Time to come clean on the real costs of P3s

Gordon Campbell’s privatization enforcer, Larry Blain, seems to be getting a little defensive about public private partnerships (P3s). And well he should.

The simple fact that basic financial information about P3s is kept secret from the public should be enough to raise serious questions. But before I deal with that, let me touch on some of Mr. Blain’s points.

April 19, 2009

John Swinney slams PFI legacy

The Times of London reports that Scotland’s Finance Minister has called public private partnerships (called private finance initiatives in the UK) “one of the worst excesses of the age of financial irresponsibility”. John Swinney revealed that the cost of servicing existing PFI/public private partnership (PPP) contracts for schools, hospitals and other infrastructure projects in Scotland will soar to £867m per annum in 2011-12, up from £501m in 2007-8.

April 19, 2009

First of its kind airport privatization collapses

CHICAGO (AP)- Another one bites the dust. Associated Press reports a $2.5 billion first-of-its-kind deal to privatize a major U.S. airport has collapsed amid the global credit crunch. Chicago officials said the deal to lease Midway Airport for 99 years fell apart because private investors could not raise the necessary money.

April 17, 2009

Six hundred new cleaners to fight hospital superbugs

Scotland’s Health Secretary has announced the creation of 600 new, public sector cleaning jobs in hospitals to put an end to hospital based infections. "Hospital cleanliness is of the utmost importance. Patients have a right to expect the highest standards and let me be clear that, on their behalf, I will not accept anything less. That is why I have set up a new inspectorate, headed by a chief inspector, to police standards in our hospitals.

April 12, 2009

Young: Privatization doesn't work? Gasp!

How did a decade of massive privatization work out in the United States? Not very well according to this column in the Waco Tribune Herald that looks at some privatization failures and suggests why important work is being brought back in house.

April 10, 2009

Event Centre running at a deficit

The Province made a big deal of the South Okanagan Events Centre. But then—as if construction delays and cost overruns weren’t bad enough—Penticton contracted out the management of the SOEC. Now the centre is running at a deficit and the taxpayers are still on the hook.



April 9, 2009

Information bulletin

Anybody who thinks that P3s are good for businesses in B.C. should have a look at Partnerships BC’s press release
announcing that the request for proposal has been issued for the South Fraser Perimeter road.