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Follow the money: The growth of private health care in Canada

Red medicare umbrellas in Victoria, January 16, 2012.

Health care reform has been on the agenda of every level of government in the country for the past two decades, not to mention every health and academic institution and think tank. Citizens have been bombarded with messages that the public system is not sustainable without “meaningful” system change. A common theme heard from elected officials is how hard it is to push change, there is just so much public resistance. 

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Privatization of reserves promoted by liberalization gurus

Peruvian economist and World Bank poster child Hernando de Soto Polar visited Vancouver in October to speak in favour of the establishment of individual property ownership ("fee simple") on First Nations Reserves in Canada.

The First Nations Property Ownership (FNPO) conference -- hosted by the First Nations Tax Commission -- paired de Soto with a select roster of indigenous leaders, lawyers, economists, and scholars from across British Columbia and Canada to promote a proposal that would allow fee-simple title on reserves.

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Privatizing potash was a costly mistake

The greatest tragedy in BHP Billiton's $38.6-billion (U.S.) bid for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS) is that the Government of Saskatchewan previously sold PCS for just $630 million. This privatization was the worst fiscal decision in the province's history and has been aggravated by subsequent royalty giveaways to private potash companies.

PCS was created in 1975 as a provincial Crown corporation. The Saskatchewan government privatized it in 1989, selling all of its shares by 1994.

Presumably, the proceeds were deducted from the provincial deficit. Borrowing $630 million at 10 per cent interest, compounded over two decades, would have added $4.2-billion of provincial debt by now.

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The privatization by stealth of Canada Post

Did you know that the Conservative minority government is smuggling certain controversial measures into its upcoming federal Budget Bill C-9? While all eyes are on the Rahim Jaffer/Helena Guergis scandal, some other shady business is getting overlooked.

Items that might prove unpopular, exposed to the light of public scrutiny, are being packaged and sold as part of a Budget that is quickly working its way through Parliament. The Conservatives are counting on the opposition's reluctance to have an election to get their Budget approved. But it is essential that the package is opened and its contents handled with care.

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| September 11, 2014

Public education over private profits... please?

Photo:flickr/PromoMadrid
If we accept that there is a war on higher education, then the only question becomes an impossible one: what side are you on?

Related rabble.ca story:

The war on higher education: What side are you on?

Neoliberalism's War on Higher Education

by Henry A. Giroux
(Between the Lines,
2014;
$17.00)

Henry Giroux's Neoliberalism's War on Higher Education, a treatise on two concepts no one can fully agree on -- neoliberalism and the university -- could have just as easily had another name: The Disappearance of Public Intellectuals. Why? Because for Giroux, the clash between late capitalism and higher education has everything to do with the demise of the public, and the public intellectual emerges as the flailing hero.

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Why B.C. Liberals want to push to privatize public education

Photo: flickr/Tyler Nienhouse

"Privatization does not mean you take a public institution and give it to some nice person. It means you take a public institution and give it to an unaccountable tyranny." -- Noam Chomsky, American philosopher

The B.C. Liberal government can't fail when it comes to further privatizing public education.

That conclusion is clear as B.C. teachers face their summer of discontent on picket lines without strike pay, mediation, negotiations or any movement on class size and composition.

But for the government, it's the summer of privatization love. Look at the evidence:

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Photo: Wouter Walmink/flickr
| July 22, 2014
Redeye

Thousands of Detroit residents face threat of water shutoff

July 19, 2014
| At least 300 demonstrators marched through Detroit streets today, protesting a move by the city’s water department to force thousands of customers to pay their bills or face a cutoff in service.
Length: 13:42 minutes (12.55 MB)
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