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.