Toronto - The Council of Canadians, Ontario Health Coalition, and the Social Planning Network of Ontario are disgusted by the Ontario government's attempt to hide a massive privatization agenda in the 327paged omnibus budget bill.
"The Finance Minister is lying when he claims that Schedule 28 will only impact Service Ontario which is bad enough," says Adrienne Silnicki of The Council of Canadians. "This Act will absolutely impact Ontarians' health care, water, school boards, education, social services, hydro, and more".
Schedule 28 of Bill 55 creates a new government ministry, which social justice and advocacy organizations are calling the "Ministry of Privatization". This Ministry would override existing legislation and regulations to order the privatization of public services without any public or legislative consultation.
By hiding this legislation in the omnibus bill the opposition parties and the public have been denied the opportunity to scrutinize the vast range of measures included in the Bill. "Schedule 28 gives new powers to facilitate potentially the largest privatization in Ontario's history," says Natalie Mehra, of the Ontario Health Coalition.
"And yet, the people of Ontario have never been given any democratic input on this legislation with its far reaching implications for the quality, democracy and cost of privatized public services."
"Creating a super minister for government services in Schedule 28 of the Budget Bill is an antidemocratic stealth move worthy of the designers of the current federal omnibus legislation", says Peter Clutterback, of the Social Planning Network of Ontario .
It's clear that Schedule 28 does not belong in the omnibus budget bill. All three groups are calling on the government to fully withdraw Schedule 28 from the omnibus bill.
Adrienne Silnicki, Council of Canadians,
(cell) 902-440 - 4296,
Natalie Mehra, Ontario Health Coalition,
(cell) 416 - 230 - 6402;