Volume 17: No. 3
Eternal Vigilance is the price of Liberty. Power is ever stealing from the many to the few.
“The price that good people pay, for their indifference to public affairs, is to
be ruled by evil men.” — Plato
P3’s ... Pay More, Get Less
“A number of P3 projects turn out to be failed experiments. For example,
Nova Scotia’s attempt at a P3 school cost the province $32 million more than if it
had been built publically, according to the auditor general. The experience in New
Brunswick was similar.” — Tom Graham, CUPE Sask. Pres.
Public-Private-Partnerships (P3’s), they’re all
the rage with the Sask. Party government. It has
established a P3 secretariat to explore the
possibility of using public-private-
partnerships for large-scale infrastructure
projects like schools and hospitals.
Partnerships may sound cozy, but the track
record on P3’s tells a different story. CUPE
has been following the P3 success rate. The
evidence clearly shows that P3 schools and
hospitals cost more, and deliver poorer-quality
services, than publically-owned and operated
facilities. Under the P3 model, private,
developers finance, build and operate schools
and hospitals and lease them back to the school
boards or governments over 25 to 35 years.
P3s Schools result in Massive Cost Overruns A
number of P3 projects turn out to be failed
experiments. For example, Nova Scotia’s
attempt at a P3 school cost the province $32
million more than if it had been built
publically, according to the auditor general.
“The experience in New Brunswick was
similar.” says Tom Graham, president of CUPE
Economist Hugh Mackenzie found shocking
cost overruns in Alberta’s plan to establish
18 cookie-cutter P3 schools. His report
concluded that, “For every two schools
financed using the P3 model, an additional
school could be built if they were all financed
using conventional public-sector financing.”
P3 schools were more expensive because it
costs more for the private sector to borrow
money than it does for governments.