An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Toby Sanger follows:
Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth makes it look like match made in heaven…
The advisory council is calling on Ottawa to create a Canadian Infrastructure Development Bank and fund it with $40 billion. They suggest this would attract an additional $160 billion from private institutional investors to finance large public infrastructure projects, including toll highways and bridges, high-speed rail, ports, airports, power transmission, public transit, “smart-city”, broadband and natural resource infrastructure.
They say the arm’s-length bank should develop a “pipeline of scalable projects with reasonable certainty,” and revenue streams in the form of user fees, availability payments (public funding) and ancillary funding. It would review infrastructure projects over $100 million and select those with enough revenue potential—the cream of the crop—for private financing and investment.
They also recommend Canada “create a flywheel of investment in its infrastructure by catalyzing the participation of institutional capital in existing assets.” This simply means privatization, although they lack the courage to use that word, and say it doesn’t necessarily mean outright sale. Private finance could just suck money out with minority ownership. This “flywheel of investment” would become an endless cycle of privatization with private finance cannibalizing our public assets for private profit.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
I brought P3s up regularly in every online discussion I was in – that talked about the Liberals’ intention to do infrastructure spending – during the last election and was ignored. The media, Left and Right wouldn’t talk about it even though journos would have known this was in the works. The Council of Canadians, as I recall (Emma Lui) was one of about two sources that looked at Trudeau’s intention to go the P3 route (endorsing thereby Harper’s law requiring infrastructure spending above a certain amount to be done via P3s, because Trudeau’s such a change from Harper). Some journos who I expected to say something were quiet. A few of them may now be vocal, but where were they during the election? Was the priority to get rid of Harper? If that’s what they would claim, I’d have to say that their silence wasn’t about that priority. Do you know where we are when everyone jettisons principles? It’s called the end.
Since the election of the young, handsome, ‘sunny ways’ Justin Trudeau, I have been waiting for this trouble to come. I couldn’t discuss it with anyone because no one was talking about it. It forced me into silence. What can one lonely nobody Canadian citizen do about a government-created problem when politicians, who are already not accountable (just read the Toronto Star’s recent report about Canadian hostages doubly victimized, namely once by their kidnappers and again, by the captured Canadian government and it’s security agencies), just aren’t interested in anti-neoliberal ideas and talk and citizens have been deluded by the same politicians into thinking that they have their best interests at heart and those who disagree are extremists or troublemakers?
This is the article, a rare one, about P3s, that I came across recently on The Tyee when I was reading around on that site. It’s nice to see that I’m living in the real world afterall. After a so long, One wonders, “Is it just me?” I see though that there’s been a little more discussion of the P3 threat than I imagined, although The Tyee (or someone there) cut off discussion of this most important and too little, still, talked about topic. Jay’s links are most welcome also. They lead to some great info on the subject of private sector actors most willing and eager to steal from taxpayers. Jay’s article led me to the top of post article, and others.
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Dru Oja Jay follows:
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The Trudeau Liberals’ promise to spend $120 billion on infrastructure was a centrepiece of their election campaign last fall.
But the party hasn’t been quite as eager to highlight the privatization plan at the heart of its infrastructure program.
Since at least 2014, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have been signalling that public-private partnerships (P3s) will be a big part of their infrastructure strategy.
Last month, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the creation of the Canada Infrastructure Development Bank. But Morneau didn’t acknowledge that the bank is really part of an infrastructure privatization plan.
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It’s said that the finance minister is, arguably, as powerful as the prime minister. This P3 threat is not inexplicable. Look at who Bill Morneau is. He’s the former chief of the rightwing think tank that has been, possibly more so than any other, at the forefront of the push to bring Canada fully into neoliberalism. Even though we are seeing a smattering of articles dealing with this threat, which is going to become more than a threat soon, we are ‘not’, interestingly, seeing anyone talk about this. Why, for example, would Thomas Walkom, one of a handful of good journos who have looked at this P3 threat, care about what others might think or say if he points out this very relevant piece of information? (I guess that part of the answer is that Thomas works for a rightwing daily and has to be very, very circumspect in his approach to subjects like this, or else.)
“Canada’s Bold New Plan For Economic Growth Is Eerily Familiar” by Thomas Walkom
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Thomas Walkom follows:
At its core, the federal government’s “bold” new plan for economic growth is strikingly familiar.
The scheme, worked out by Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s hand-picked advisory panel, relies on privatization, deregulation, public-private partnerships and user fees.
It would reserve profitable public infrastructure for the private sector but have governments alone foot the bill for those schemes — such as environmental remediation and First Nations projects — that are destined to lose money.
It would have the government set up a new agency to convince foreign investors that Canada is open for business.
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Dru Oja Jay follows:
Finance Minister Bill Morneau went to the University of Western Ontario and the London School of Economics. He is the multi-millionaire founder of a company that provides “human resources services” and manages pension funds for companies and government agencies. (According to SEC filings, his net worth is north of $26 million; his annual salary before he left to run for the Liberals was $1 million.)
From 2010 to 2014, Morneau served as Chair of the C.D. Howe Institute, a nonpartisan, economically conservative think tank that credits itself with having an impact promoting continental “free trade,” lower corporate tax rates, and reducing inflation. As Finance Minister, we can expect him to wield nearly as much power as the Prime Minister — perhaps more.
Canadian values? What are they after our Benefactors in power have ruined Canadians spiritually and mentally with the example they set and the propaganda they and their think tank and media friends churn out?
“But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time came for the dead to be judged and to reward your slaves the prophets and the holy ones and those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.””
The link in the above scripture, intended to look at who is meant by ‘nations’ (primarily: ‘Benefactors’ in power) is mine, obviously.