Strengthen Public Services and Expand the Ontario Economy, CAW Urges Commission

January 12, 2012, 9:20 AM EST

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The CAW is stressing that more private sector involvement is the wrong way to reform  Public Services in Ontario.

In a 19-page submission to the Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services the CAW challenges many misconceptions about the best way to reshape public services in the province.

It reaffirms key principles of public service delivery and urges that long-run efforts to reduce the provincial deficit be paired with an expansionary macroeconomic strategy to put Ontarians back to work and paying taxes.

The CAW represents 145,000 workers in Ontario including 26,000 public sector workers including those in health, post-secondary education, municipal utilities and the urban transit sector.

In its submission the CAW outlines suggestions for controlling costs associated with delivery of public services, but not by handing more responsibility and control to private sector corporations.

Instead, it challenges the waste and irrationality associated with many existing forms of private sector participation in the delivery of public sector services.

Various sections of the paper identify waste and irrational practices associated with private sector procurement, private clinic operation, public-private partnerships in infrastructure construction and public capital subsidies for long-term care homes.

"In all of these areas, funding constraints are made worse, not better, by private sector involvement at various stages of the delivery process," the CAW submission states.

Other parts of the 19-page CAW submission consider broader economic benefits associated with public service delivery in Ontario, including research and innovation. It concludes with a discussion of ways in which costs could be reduced and service quality improved.

The CAW analysis emphasizes issues related to health care, because that is where the majority of the CAW's broader public sector members work in Ontario, although many of the concepts can be applied to other public services in Ontario.

To read the complete CAW submission please click here.

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