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Burnaby, BC, Oct. 4
A Cabinet document leaked to the Vancouver Sun reveals that the federal Liberals, in concert with Gordon Campbell’s privatization agenda, are preparing to deliberately mislead the public about the source of funds for the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver (RAV) public-private partnership (P3) deal.
“This just proves the Liberals, federal and provincial, will do anything for a P3,” says Barry O’Neill, CUPE BC President upon news of the leak. “This is what P3′s are like. P3′s encourage secrecy, deceptive financing and the need to get around the public’s right to know.”
The leaked Cabinet document proposes that the federal government tell the public that the additional $150 million federal funding promised by the Prime Minister for the RAV deal last spring was actually part of an Olympic contribution, when in fact the money will be coming out of the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund – a pool of money set to be distributed equally between provinces.
This misinformation is intended to trick other provincial governments that may argue that they are also entitled equal infrastructure funding and directly contradicts Gordon Campbell’s claims that the RAV-line has nothing to do with the Olympics and therefore shouldn’t be counted as part of the overall costs of the games.
The federal government is hustling to sign a mid-October conditional agreement guaranteeing their $450 million in total RAV funding for private RAV bidders. According to the Sun, the leaked document outlines this concern in the following way: “Not providing or delaying such confirmation could impact firms’ readiness to continue in the process or to submit high-quality bids.”
According to reports from Seattle, Bombardier, which is part of a private consortium bidding on the RAV-line, was forced to pull out of the bidding for Seattle’s rapid transit monorail line because it couldn’t come up with requisite financial guarantees for the project.
“While the province is pushing the federal government to go out of its way to guarantee financing for the convenience and ease of private bidders, the public is being deceived,” says O’Neill.
“Clearly, Liberals are not concerned about misinforming the public if that’s what it takes to pull off the largest P3 in North American history.” CUPE BC has been a vocal opponent of the P3 RAV deal.
For further information: Contact: Barry O’Neill, President, CUPE BC,
(604) 916-8444; Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, (778) 229-0258
@ October 4, 2004