We can’t afford not to have quality public services

In the 1930s and 1940s, our parents and grandparents learned the hard way that investing in quality public services was necessary to support and encourage growth.

Now we are having to learn that there are no shortcuts. As a recent article in the Winnipeg Free Press made clear, when governments cut corners problems follow.

Underfunding of public services is only part of the problem. As the author makes clear, when outsourcing is proposed as a solution to underfunded public services, the situation can become far worse. In many cases, privatization schemes that were meant to save money have required expensive bailouts.

What does protect the public are measures like Manitoba’s Public-Private Partnerships Transparency and Accountability Act. Under this legislation, governments have to demonstrate that privatizing public infrastructure will save money and improve service.