Public services and privatization

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The issuance of mandate letters to provincial crown corporations has put management and staff on notice, warning that “the old way of doing things” is over.   The preamble for all the letters is the same, with claims that this government is committed to “prudent fiscal management, creating jobs, improving health care and education” etc. etc. Each letter then spells out the specific changes the government expects each crown to make.  
Illustration by Eagleclaw Bunnie
First published in the Winnipeg Free Press Friday April 12, 2019 For years, an open secret in Winnipeg has been the poor quality of service associated with Transit  Plus (previously Handi-Transit), which exists to provide a parallel Winnipeg Transit for those with disabilities. The service provides transportation to approximately 7,500 people a year. Due to problems with the services, the Independent Living Resource Centre (ILRC) was able to, with the assistance of the Public Interest Law Centre (PILC), submit a complaint to the Manitoba Ombudsman.
TORONTO—Today’s Ontario budget will do serious damage to the public services Ontarians depend on, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Ontario office (CCPA) says. “Cuts like these don’t make Ontario ‘a place to grow,’ they make it a place where people have to just try and survive,” says Sheila Block, CCPA Ontario Senior Economist. “This is a bad news budget.”
December 2018 protest of taxi drivers (REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji)
Original graph by Jordan Brennan for Maclean's magazine.
Photo by Spencer Tweedy (Flickr Creative Commons) Ontario’s back-to-school season is going to be especially disruptive for families later this year. Those of us with an interest in the state of our schools, and the well-being of children and the people who help support them, need to get ready—and get to work.
For six weeks in May and June 1919, approximately 35,000 workers in the Prairie city of Winnipeg walked off the job to voice their frustration with a range of issues, from a lack of collective bargaining rights and union recognition to increasing inequality. Indeed, the strike was part of a broader wave of worker revolts that swept across Canada and the world in 1919, as working people in numerous Canadian cities and countries used the strike—the withdrawal of labour power—to push for change.
First published in the Winnipeg Free Press, February 2, 2019 When it comes to evaluating the “value for money” in air ambulance services, the safety of patients and staff should be a key factor. When the operators of the air ambulance are private companies, though, the bottom line is profit. That’s why the Manitoba government’s attempted privatization of this public service signals a new and troubling reality, and sets a disturbing direction in the provision of health care services in the province.
Regina — Canada ranks very poorly among peer nations for overall quality measures and rates of access to regulated child care, and Saskatchewan ranks the lowest of all Canadian provinces. A new report from the CCPA-Saskatchewan explores the piecemeal way in which child care policy has been developed by successive governments of all political stripes since 1969, and offers several recommendations for how to improve child care services that are of vital interest to the public.

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