Letter from the Editor: We can win on public services                                             
Kent Peterson, SFL Strategic Advisor and Labour Reporter Editor
Originally published in the Summer 2015 edition of the Labour Reporter

Brad Wall will go into the next provincial election talking about privatizing our Crowns and selling-off our public services. If he comes out the other end of that election with another mandate, he will do what he promised he would do. He will continue to dismantle our valuable Crowns, he will accelerate contracting out, and he will continue to sell-off vital public services to out-of-province corporations.

Brad Wall’s privatization agenda will take away what we’ve spent generations building – unless, of course, we stop him.

Through the Own It! organizing initiative we can have 100,000 conversations about the benefits of public ownership across the province. We can work, together, to ensure that people know the extra costs and the risks of privatization. By engaging with working families and communities we can attain thousands of online and petition signatures, and we can prove to Brad Wall that his government – whether they are re-elected in 2016 or not – does not have a mandate to privatize.

Saskatchewan people can win on this issue against the Sask. Party government. The argument in favour of stronger public services not only makes economic sense – it costs less, it’s less risky, and the benefits stay here in Saskatchewan – but it can win on values as well.

We know Saskatchewan people are for securing a strong future for their kids and grandkids; privatization leaves their kids worse off. We know Saskatchewan people are for making sure seniors get the care they need; privatization is about cutting corners and making a profit off of seniors in long-term care. The people of this province are in favour of controlling their own future; privatization lets out-of-province corporations decide things for us – where’s the accountability?

Economics and values are on our side – Saskatchewan people agree that we need to keep services and Crowns public, and make them even stronger. Now, all we have to do is get out there and have the conversations that need to be had, and get people to sign-up at OwnYourSask.ca.

The people of this province have already lost so many important services, infrastructure projects, and Crowns to corporations from Alberta and the United States. We have all seen the Alberta-plated equipment patching our highways, and the Texas-plated trucks installing our power. Enough is enough.

In many ways the Own It! initiative is our last stand – this is it. This is our final opportunity to stop the sell-offs and P3s; this is our last chance to save our public services and Crowns. Because once they’re gone, they’re gone – and they won’t be coming back. It’s up to everyday working families and their community allies to tell Brad Wall he does not have a mandate to privatize. We need you to visit OwnYourSask.ca and sign-up to volunteer, and say YES to strong public services.

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