Monday, April 13, 2015

Alberta needs a strong public sector

This post first appeared on Krystal Kromm and Serge Gingras's Red Deer Alberta Party blog here.

Do you care about our public services like health, education, fire and police protection?

Take 5 and a half minutes and watch this video.

Creating and protecting public services require a strong government that represents the people and our values of fairness, empathy, responsibility and equality.

The private marketplace filled with ethical entrepreneurs is an important part of a strong economy. Public education, universal health care, fire and police services are not markets -- they occupy a public, not private, space that is driven not by private profits but by public service.

Some corporations and their political friends want to turn our public goods that are for everyone into private interests that profit an elite and wealthy few.

Here is how they are doing it:
1. Deliberately underfund public services.

2. Taxes for the wealthiest people and corporations are cut in a way that government claims that we spend too much and as a result, we “all” must address the deficit together with higher fees and new health care premiums.

3. Lack of funding erodes the quality, availability and accessibility of services.

4. People get more frustrated and lose confidence in the services.

5. Corporations and their political friends say that privatization is the answer.
In many cases, privatization of public goods has a proven track record of lower quality, less service, higher costs and greater risks to public safety. Too often, privatization means that Albertans pay more and get less.

Privatizing our health, education and services for seniors often changes the bottom line. When a service remains public, people remain the bottom line. When we privatize and corporations take over the delivery of services, there is a shift and the bottom line becomes more focused on profits and less on the needs of people.

Some private-public partnerships may work but they can not only be held accountable to shareholders whose interest is on profits. A transparent government should be truly accountable to all Albertans and provide the best care for our health, education and seniors, without the threat of privatizing our public services.

The Alberta Party understands that Alberta's health and wealth requires a diversified economy, a commitment to the environment, a strong public sector, a balanced budget and a strong social conscience.

Learn about the Alberta Party's Better Way here.

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