Public Values

Selling off ServiceOntario in budget bill will cost taxpayers

Government giving away $2.7 billion in annual provincial revenue to private investors.

Miller: Why is Minister Duncan pushing ahead with legislation replicating the failures of ORNGE?TORONTO, ON, May 18, 2012: Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) President Warren (Smokey) Thomas's demand that ServiceOntario remain in public hands was formally read into the official record of Ontario's Legislative Assembly on May 15. In correspondence to Premier Dalton McGuinty, Thomas said the government must withdraw the controversial section of this year's budget bill that privatizes ServiceOntario.

Hamilton East-Stoney Creek Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Paul Miller, who acts as the New Democrat Party's critic for Government Services, read Thomas's letter to McGuinty into Hansard in the Legislature. Miller went on to describe the scheme to privatize ServiceOntario as a "nightmare in the making". Later in Question Period, Miller asked Ontario's Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, "Can the Minister explain why he is pushing ahead with legislation that replicates many of the failures of ORNGE?"

Duncan failed to reply directly to Miller's question and instead repeated his tired and familiar reply about getting the province "back to balance". As on many previous occasions, Duncan could not explain how giving away to private investors a valuable public asset that adds $2.7 billion annually to the provincial treasury will help Ontario balance its budget and invest in essential public services at the same time.

OPSEU/NUPGE is encouraging the public to voice its concerns with this move to privatize ServiceOntario by sending an email to MPPs to tell them that tossing away annual revenues of $2.7 billion by privatizing ServiceOntario qualifies as one of the most short-sighted and, potentially, dangerous decisions our government has ever made. It's not too late to have this reckless decision turned back.

Related individuals, organizations and significant events
•Warren Smokey Thomas's letter to Premier McGuinty
Email your MPP

Links and sources
  OPSEU President urges Premier to keep ServiceOntario public

Posted: May 23, 2012

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