Tag Archives: Hugh Armstrong

Kingston P3: John Gerretsen should know better

Carleton University's Hugh Armstrong speaks about P3s in Kingston March 4.

Carleton University’s Hugh Armstrong speaks about P3s in Kingston March 4.

KINGSTON – As a Minister of the Crown, Kingston MPP John Gerretsen should know better.

At yesterday’s anti-privatization rally in front of his Kingston constituency office, Gerretsen was steadfast in his assertion that the deficit rendered the government unable to build new hospitals without private involvement in the finance, design, construction and long-term maintenance of the building.

The protesters are upset by the government’s plans to use a public-private partnership (P3) deal to build a new hospital in Kingston. The new facility will replace the aging psychiatric and rehab hospitals.

At the same time, Gerretsen surprised the protesters by telling them he knew the P3 option was more expensive.

The suggestion is that somehow using the private sector takes the costs of doing these projects off the government accounts. This is completely untrue.

It’s a little like taking out your high interest VISA card as a solution to your debts.

You don’t have to take our word for it.

The Conference Board of Canada issued a report in 2010 funded largely by pro-P3 groups such as the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships, PPP Canada and Partnerships BC. To say the report subsequently contains a pro-P3 bias is a massive understatement.

Despite this, the report acknowledges that the idea of taking these financial obligations off-book has no value.

Continue reading

Author Linda McQuaig and Economist Hugh Mackenzie confirmed for OHC Action Assembly.

The Ontario Health Coalition has confirmed that author Linda McQuaig and economist Hugh Mackenzie will be among featured speakers at their two day Action Assembly and Conference in Toronto November 19-20.

The Action Assembly sets the agenda for the work of the coalition for the coming year. Each year an associated one-day conference provides for more in-depth discussion on key health care issues.

McQuaig is author of eight books on politics and economics – all national bestsellers – including Shooting the Hippo (short-listed for the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction), The Cult of Impotence, All You Can Eat, It’s the Crude, Dude: War, Big Oil and the Fight for the Planet, and Holding the Bully’s Coat: Canada and the U.S. Empire. Her most recent book, co-authored with Neil Brooks, is The Trouble With Billionaires.

Mackenzie has worked for 35 years in a variety of public policy roles at all three levels of government. He is the Chair fo the Atkinson Charitable Foundation and a research associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He is a frequent contributor to opinion pages on issues related to public finance.

On Sunday speakers include Taylor Chelsea (Occupy Toronto), Hugh Armstrong (Council on Aging), Winnie Ng (Sam Gindin Chair at Ryerson University), Diane Dowling (National Farmer’s Union) and Maureen O’Reilly (Toronto Public Library).

OPSEU members who are active in their local health coalition do qualify for assistance to attend this event. Please contact rjanson@opseu.org for more information.