Public services and privatization

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Previously published in the Winnipeg Free Press on August 5, 2023
Previously published in the Winnipeg Free Press August 15, 2023
The history of public and private ownership of telecommunications services is critical to understanding how government policy can, and should, protect quality service and good, local unionized jobs. 
Based on “For Whom the Bell Tolls: The Privatization of the Manitoba Telephone Services and its Impacts” by Doug Smith   
The world of telecommunications has continued to undergo “a sea-change into something rich and strange". Some people have gotten very rich: telecommunications is one of the most profitable industries in Canada.
The Stefanson government’s full-on privatization of provincial liquor sales went into overdrive last week with the introduction of Bill 30.
Claim: “Budget 2023 removes 47,400 low-income Manitobans from the tax rolls and saves the average family $1,000” Impact: More of the Basic Personal Amount tax change money will go to Manitoba’s richest 10% than the bottom 50% combined. The poorest 10% (100,100 Manitobans) get no benefit from this change as they don’t make enough to be on the tax rolls currently. The second-poorest 10%  (990,900 Manitobans) saves only $74 by the increase in the Basic Personal Amount.
Previously published in the Brandon Sun May 9, 2023 Five schools for the price of four - this is the deal the Pallister government got when it abandoned the plan to build schools through a Public-Private-Partnership (P3) model and used the usual public model instead. The government built five schools for the same cost using the regular process. In addition to being more expensive, P3s have been criticized for excluding local contractors, lack of transparency and loss of public control over taxpayer-funded assets.
The Shock Doctrine occurs when neoliberal and undemocratic agendas are rapidly advanc
The Convoy that took over Ottawa for a month last year just met outside Winnipeg this past weekend. While the right to protest is an essential part of our democracy, it is important to look critically at this movement that has harboured white supremacist, libertarian and in some cases even fascist beliefs.  These ideas have originated most recently in the USA, but have a long and odious history elsewhere in the world.