Privatisation News

Privatisation Oh Canada - Our Bought And Sold Out Land
Contributed by Milton on Monday, September 14 at 10:17 (8,679 reads)

This entertaining documentary film explores the history of banking, the selling out of the prosperity of Canada, the clearance sale of Canadian businesses and the political liquidation of public infrastructures to the multi-national corporate oligarchy. How has this led to the biggest economic crash / recession / depression in Canadian history? Could it have something to do with our politicians listening to international bankers and corporations instead of the people Canada? How does the Canadian banking system really work? How does the central Bank of Canada compare with the American Federal Reserve?

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Privatisation The Financial War Against Iceland
Contributed by Milton on Sunday, April 05 at 12:53 (4,961 reads)

Being defeated by debt is as deadly as outright military warfare. , April 5, 2009


Iceland is under attack – not militarily­ but financially. It owes more than it can pay. This threatens debtors with forfeiture of what remains of their homes and other assets. The government is being told to sell off the nation’s public domain, its natural resources and public enterprises to pay the financial gambling debts run up irresponsibly by a new banking class. This class is seeking to increase its wealth and power despite the fact that its debt-leveraging strategy already has plunged the economy into bankruptcy. On top of this, creditors are seeking to enact permanent taxes and sell off public assets to pay for bailouts to themselves.


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Privatisation Mexico: Oil Privatisation Halted Due To Mass Protests
Contributed by NAUWATCH on Monday, May 26 at 09:05 (5,666 reads)
“The Adelitas have arrived/To defend our oil/Whoever wants to give it to the foreigners/ Will get the shit kicked out of him!” yodelled the brigades of women pouring onto the esplanade of the Mexican senate. The demonstration was to protest a petroleum privatisation measure President Felipe Calderon insists is not a petroleum privatisation measure — and which he sent onto the Senate for fast-track ratification at the tag end of the session this April.

Inside the small, ornate Senate, leftist legislators aligned in the Broad Progressive Front (FAP), some dressed in white oil workers’ overalls and hard hats, were camped out under pup tents arranged around the podium for the eighth straight night. They paralysed legislative activities and demanded an ample national debate on Calderon’s plans to open up the nationalised petroleum corporation PEMEX to transnational investment.
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The Real News Network
Mexico up in arms over privatization oil plans

Mass demonstrations against possible privatization of state oil co.
Tuesday April 29th, 2008

Thousands of Mexicans took to the streets of Mexico City on Sunday to protest an oil reform bill they say would lead to the privatization of the country's state-run oil company. Led by opposition lawmaker Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the demonstrators expressed their displeasure with plans to look for private capital to help fund the expansion of Pemex, Mexico's national oil company.

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Privatisation Toronto Panel Likely To Recommend Selling Toronto Hydro
Contributed by N Say on Wednesday, February 20 at 11:13 (3,537 reads)
Blue-ribbon panel expected to call for sale of Toronto Hydro JEFF GRAY AND JENNIFER LEWINGTON From Wednesday's Globe and Mail February 20, 2008 at 4:48 AM EST The sale of a wide range of city assets, including Toronto Hydro, is one of several key recommendations expected tomorrow from Mayor David Miller's independent blue-ribbon panel on the municipal government's finances. The potential sale of the hydro utility, rumoured for weeks, could generate in excess of $2-billion if sold to a pension fund, for example, and lighten the city's debt load. (The average Toronto house assessed at $369,300 in 2007 contributed $266 a year toward debt charges, second after $532 a year for police.)
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Privatisation Where I Stand On BC's Private V. Public Power Controversy
Contributed by PatriotPete on Tuesday, February 19 at 11:27 (4,939 reads)
by Patriot Pete/Peter Dimitrov, Feb 19, 2008 Prior to the BC Liberal election there was NOT a market for electrical energy use in British Columbia. Electrical power was, (and is) ostensibly produced by BC Hydro, and industrial, commercial and residential rates were set by a Utilities Commission as appointed and directed by the Minister responsible. BC Hydro was vertically integrated, generation of power, with distribution via its own transmission lines. Exports were taken care of by Powerex which at that time had received a federal and provincial energy export certificate. BC Hydro had many assets in addition to the dams and transmission lines. It had intellectual property pertaining to know-how of its Power Smart program - which was unique throughout North America - as most US utilities had no such program, given that they wanted their consumers to consume more electricity, not less. Secondly, BC Hydro's intellectual property consisted of multi-million dollar research reports pertaining to the locations and capacities of all micro-hydro and wind potential sites in the province. Both of these significant intellectual property assets were paid for by you-the ratepayers. The BC Liberals came along, and their first BC Energy Policy, ostensibly written by big corporate players, all of whom want to see an electrical market produced, yet wanted a virtually perpetual electrical rate/price guarantee from the cheap Heritage power of the Peace and Columbia rivers. They got their way - this, like all of capitalism, is a government created, subsidized and (poorly) regulated market - that is how capitalism works - it needs the aiding and abetting of the Capitalist state, especially a state which implements the neo-liberal ideology of late Capitalism. Campbell outsourced about 1/3 of BC Hydro to Accenture, that contract is still private, the cost/benefit analysis is still not released, despite Minister Neufeld promising to do so on CBC radio and in writing to me many years ago. Then, they told BC Hydro - they could not build new power generation facilities, only improve existing ones. They freely released the BC Hydro reports on micro energy and wind energy sites to the private energy corporations who were all geared up to 'stake' their claims on BC Rivers.Said companies, lined up to apply, at dirt cheap prices, for a water licence, on hundreds of rivers and creeks in BC- and thus we have a tumultuous market.
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Privatisation Toll Road Privatization May Result In More Crashes On Other Roads
Contributed by N Say on Monday, January 14 at 17:28 (3,330 reads)
Toll Road Privatization May Result In More Crashes On Other Roads ScienceDaily (Jan. 15, 2008) — Privatizing toll roads in the U.S. may result in significant diversions of truck traffic from privatized toll roads to "free" roads, and may result in more crashes and increased costs associated with use of other roads, according to a new study. The study used data from the State of Ohio, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Ohio Turnpike to predict annual Turnpike truck vehicle miles traveled, and therefore diverted vehicle miles, based on National truck traffic and Turnpike rates. The researchers then compare estimated truck traffic diverted from the Turnpike to truck traffic on Ohio road segments on possible substitute routes. Both economic models support the hypothesis that rate increases divert traffic from toll roads to "free" roads.
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Privatisation Hospital Privatization A `Disturbing Picture'
Contributed by drcaleb on Tuesday, January 08 at 09:33 (4,796 reads)
Jan 08, 2008 04:30 AM Prithi Yelaja Staff Reporter The Ontario Health Coalition is calling on the provincial auditor to probe all public/private partnership infrastructure plans, given what it claims were massive cost overruns and delays in building Brampton Civic Hospital – the first Ontario hospital built under a so-called P3 deal. The coalition, a watchdog group that keeps tabs on health care in the province, also wants a moratorium on P3s until the auditor declares they are good value for taxpayers. The government has 44 P3 projects in the pipeline valued at $30 billion, including 30 hospitals. "The government's justification for its P3 privatization policy has been that going to the private sector brings hospitals on time and in budget. The evidence from the Brampton case shows that this hospital is (not) on time, it doubled in price and the bed totals are approximately half of the assessed needs of the community at this ... time," the coalition's director Natalie Mehra told a news conference yesterday.
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Privatisation No More P3 Hospitals!
Contributed by N Say on Monday, December 10 at 14:27 (3,466 reads)
MUHC headed for costly failure, top architect warns Private-public deal 'unwieldy' They'll 'cut corners,' Fieldman says AARON DERFEL, The Gazette Published: 7 hours ago A top Manhattan architect who learned his profession in Montreal is warning that the McGill University Health Centre is headed for a costly failure with its plan to build its future hospital as a public-private partnership. Michael Fieldman, a McGill alumnus who won an architecture award for designing a health-care facility in Boston, said such partnerships work well for private investors but not for hospitals. "When you turn things over to the private sector, they're bottom-line oriented," Fieldman said. "They're there to make money. They're not there to get the glory of some iconic piece of architecture. So they cut corners."
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Privatisation Why The Rush On p3s?
Contributed by N Say on Friday, November 30 at 13:16 (3,740 reads)
Why the rush on public-private partnerships? MADELAINE DROHAN Globe and Mail Update November 30, 2007 at 5:50 AM EST The idea of using private sector money to pay for roads, bridges, hospitals, schools and other infrastructure is certainly seductive. Using other people's money to get what you want always is. But there is something unsettling in the way the federal government is manically pushing public-private partnerships as the solution to every problem and using its financial clout to ensure provincial and municipal governments fall in line. The concept's appeal to the Conservative government is understandable. Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to power promising to reduce the size of government and along with it the level of taxation. Getting the private sector to finance and operate what were formerly public goods or services is consistent with this ideology.
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Privatisation The Future Of The Corporation By Kuttner + The Squandering Of America
Contributed by Janet M Eaton on Saturday, November 24 at 16:50 (3,122 reads)
The Boston Globe The future of the corporation By Robert Kuttner November 21, 2007 Excerpts: LAST WEEK, superinvestor Warren Buffett, America's second richest man, testified before the Senate Finance Committee on the subject of why people like him can well afford to pay taxes. "Dynastic wealth, the enemy of a meritocracy, is on the rise," Buffett told the senators. "Equality of opportunity has been on the decline. A progressive and meaningful estate tax is needed to curb the movement of a democracy toward a plutocracy." Buffett also proposed higher taxes on the wealthy ...and he supports taxing hedge fund bonuses at the same rate as ordinary income..
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Privatisation Shocked In Death, Shocked In Life: More Than A Taser Story
Contributed by siljan on Thursday, November 22 at 12:01 (2,966 reads)
by Naomi Klein The world saw a video last week of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers using a Taser against a Polish man in the Vancouver International Airport in October. The man, Robert Dziekanski, died soon after the attack. In recent days, more details have come out about him. It turns out that the 40-year-old didn’t just die after being shocked — his life was marked by shock as well. Dziekanski was a young adult in 1989, when Poland began a grand experiment called “shock therapy” for the nation. The promise was that if the communist country accepted a series of brutal economic measures, the reward would be a “normal European country” like France or Germany. The pain would be short, the reward great. So Poland’s government eliminated price controls overnight, slashed subsidies, privatized industries. But for young workers such as Dziekanski, “normal” never arrived. Today, roughly 40% of young Polish workers are unemployed. Dziekanski was among them. He had worked as a typesetter and a miner, but for the last few years, he had been unemployed and had had run-ins with the law.
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Privatisation Naomi Klein: Privatised Disaster Services - USA INC.
Contributed by a free mans life on Saturday, November 03 at 15:34 (3,170 reads)
Rapture rescue will airlift you to safety. If you can afford it The booming business of privatised disaster services in the US goes against the principle that every life is of equal value Naomi Klein Saturday November 3, 2007 The Guardian I used to worry that the US was in the grip of extremists who sincerely believed the Apocalypse was coming and that they and their friends would be airlifted to heavenly safety. I have since reconsidered. The country is indeed in the grip of extremists who are determined to act out the biblical climax - the saving of the chosen and the burning of the masses - but without any divine intervention. Heaven can wait. Thanks to the booming business of privatised disaster services, we're getting the Rapture right here on earth. Just look at what is happening in southern California. Even as wildfires devoured whole swaths of the region, some homes in the heart of the inferno were left intact, as if saved by a higher power. But it wasn't the hand of God; in several cases it was the handiwork of Firebreak Spray Systems. Firebreak is a special service offered to customers of insurance giant American International Group - but only if they happen to live in the wealthiest zip codes in the country. Members of the company's Private Client Group pay an average of $19,000 to have their homes sprayed with fire retardant. During the fires, the "mobile units", racing around in firetrucks, even extinguished fires for their clients.
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"Ghost Management: How Much of the Medical Literature Is Shaped Behind the Scenes by the Pharmaceutical Industry? " by Sergio Sismondo EXCERPTS from a lengthy medical journal article "There are many reports of medical journal articles being researched and written by or on behalf of pharmaceutical companies, and then published under the name of academics who had played little role earlier in the research and writing process [2-14]. In extreme cases, drug companies pay for trials by contract research organizations (CROs), analyze the data in-house, have professionals write manuscripts, ask academics to serve as authors of those manuscripts, and pay communication companies to shepherd them through publication in the best journals. The resulting articles affect the conclusions found in the medical literature, and are used in promoting drugs to doctors. ...... "Articles in medical journals have real effects upon physician prescribing behavior, which is why pharmaceutical companies invest so much in their publication. Journal articles are heavily used in detailing, to validate claims and rebut worries. Even independent of detailers, responsible physicians and medical researchers search the literature to gather evidence about the best treatments. Published scientific articles are the sources of medical information with the highest authority. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses almost all start with the published literature-so even fully independent reviews are influenced by ghostly activities. Therefore, the ghost management of journal articles is a step in the intervention into medical practice.
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Privatisation New President Of The CMA Wants Two-Tiered Health System
Contributed by N Say on Thursday, August 23 at 22:43 (3,867 reads)
The Canadian Medical Association has a new president, Brian Day. Here are his 5 points from his inaugural address:
...We must take action on the most pressing issues, five of which I would like to briefly highlight today. First. We must first modernize the Canada Health Act, which is based on principles developed over 40 years ago - a time when the Berlin Wall was being built.

The Act must meet the needs of the 21st Century. In the Chaoulli case, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that existing laws violated the rights to life, liberty, and security of person.

They unanimously ruled that patients experienced "physical and psychological suffering," and the system imposed the risk of death and irreparable harm to waiting patients.

The basis of the Canada Health Act and our Medicare system is the 1961 Saskatchewan Medical Insurance Act of Tommy Douglas. Three of the eight principles that Tommy Douglas described as essential were omitted from our current Act. Those principles were "effective", "efficient", and "responsible". Let us demand that those principles be enshrined in an updated Canada Health Act. This will help ensure accountability.

I want to be very clear.

My support for universal health care is unequivocal, but I believe the Act must be revised, reformed and updated. The second action we must take is to look at hospital funding - the single biggest expense to our health system.

Our current system of block funding does not reward productivity, customer service, excellence, or efficiencies. Nor does it penalize failure to deliver on those key indicators.

There are those that dismiss these concepts of success and excellence as elitist or undesirable. They support the status quo and dismiss the plight and suffering of patients.

Their beliefs have become prejudices that do not serve the underprivileged in our society.

Hospitals must have incentives to re-open operating rooms, increase the number of beds available, hire more staff, and treat more patients.

Hospitals must view patients as individuals deserving of outstanding care, not as a drain on their predetermined budget.

Last year the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development better known as OECD, released a report stating, "Market-orientated mechanisms reduce costs of hospital services, even when primarily government operated."

Patient-focused funding, where government resources follow the patient, must be considered as the alternative to block funding that puts the system first rather than the patient.

Third: We must emphasize that the shortage of doctors and other health professionals has reached a crisis level in Canada.

In 1970, when public insurance was first fully applied to physician services in Canada, we ranked second among developed countries in the number of physicians per capita.

We now rank 26th.

We have 17 medical schools, yet face a critical shortage of doctors. Every year, the equivalent of two full medical schools of graduates have left Canada. Fifty per cent of all newly trained orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons leave within five years of graduation. Why? - - - - Because we can't offer these talented and highly trained young doctors the resources they need to work. Because doctors graduate with average debts of $160,000, and are forced to factor in their debt as they make career choices. Because doctors, and the services they recommend for patients, are considered a drain on the budget. We must address these issues.

Fourth. I especially want to address the issue of technology. I have been a long time believer in its vast potential.

As long ago as 1979, I sponsored a paper on electronic medical records by Dr. Myles Clough.

Twenty-two years ago I had the privilege of being involved in developing the world's first surgical robot, and that same year was one of two participants in the first-ever live two-way telemedicine session from North America to Mainland China.

These examples were ahead of their time, and not cost effective, but what was impractical then is a reality now.

Knowledge and data and information-processing are fundamental to sound decision-making and delivering safe, efficient care.

We are in the Information Age, and medicine needs to catch up. Technology will further change our practices in ways we have still not dreamt of.

Sadly, our access to new and valuable technologies is at a point where we rank near the bottom of developed countries. This must change.

My fifth and final action is the possible role of private health care in our public system.

I realize it will surprise some of you that I raise this topic.

Let's be clear: Canadians should have the right to private medical insurance when timely access is not available in the public system.

The CMA didn't decide that, I didn't decide that, the Highest Court in the land decided that.

Contracting out public health services to the private sector to reduce wait lists is not a new idea and does not spell the end of universality.

Most of the care of injured workers in BC has been contracted out in this way.

The result?

Injured workers do not wait for consultations or investigations or procedures, including surgery. Most importantly they don't suffer the physical and psychological distress of waiting, they pay nothing and the Workers' Compensation Board of BC has saved hundreds of millions of dollars in wage benefits and health costs.

[The Investment Canada Act & Competition Act are being reviewed right now, the Telecommunications Act has been reviewed, I don't think there's any reason the Canada Health Act couldn't be reviewed also. The last time the government looked at it was 1983. Or the government could just implement some of the Romanow Report's recommendations... -- NSay]

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