Council of Canadians health care campaigner Adrienne Silnicki will be speaking at a media conference in Toronto this morning in opposition to Bill 55.
In an e-blast to Council of Canadians members in Ontario we have stated, “You may not be aware, but the Ontario government is trying to quietly push through an act on Tuesday, June 12th that will allow the privatization of public services without any public consultation or legislative debate. The new ‘privatization’ minister will in fact override all other ministers (including but not limited to: health care, environment, natural resources, and education) and chose what services (health care, water, hydro, and education, among others) become contracted out, sold or made into a public-private partnership. There will be no public or legislative debate when these services are privatized. Even the Ministers in charge of these portfolios will not have a say. The Liberals are claiming that this Act will only impact Service Ontario and that an amendment has been made. But after calls to the opposition parties and those working on Schedule 28, it is clear that no one has seen this elusive amendment and leaves us wondering if any future amendment will go far enough to protect Ontarians, their public services, natural resources, environment, and privacy. The only solution is to have Schedule 28 withdrawn entirely!”
Our ally CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn has commented, “On top of budget cuts to services that would make Mike Harris blush, Dalton McGuinty is bringing in legislation to permit the backroom privatization of almost every public service in the province. The premier must change his course, because Ontarians deserve better.” Hahn has also highlighted, “This is a 327-page bill amending 69 different pieces of legislation. Just one of those, if passed, would permit cabinet to act behind closed doors to privatize any crown corporation or government service, all without ever coming before the legislature. Surely that warrants more public scrutiny than the bill has had to date.” The Council of Canadians joins with CUPE in calling for public hearings on Bill 55.
Further commentary on Bill 55 can be read at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=15347.