"They have been hired by governments across Canada, and their reports have been used to sell a number of privatization schemes. Manitobans need to know this is the firm that the PC government worked with in the ‘90s when they tried to privatize home care in Manitoba, and they helped privatize Hydro One in Ontario." — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (06 Oct. 2017) — After months of pressure from the media and public, the Manitoba government has finally released part of the KPMG report, a report from private consultants commissioned by the Pallister government to provide advice on spending cuts. Parts of the report were released on October 3. For several months the provincial government refused to release any of the taxpayer-funded report.
KPMG report a how-to guide on privatizing public services
The government confirmed that it is accepting the report’s startling recommendation to cut the civil service by 8 per cent over the next 3 years. This announcement comes after the civil service already saw a reduction of over 700 people in the past year alone — one of the largest drops in recent years.
“In the short time that we’ve had with the report, we can see a roadmap for cuts and privatization,” said Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE). “These cuts will mean fewer probation officers keeping communities safe, fewer water-testers to protect the environment, fewer workers to keep vulnerable children in care safe, and fewer highways staff to clear snow off our roads.”
MGEU/NUPGE sounded the alarm when KPMG was first selected to conduct the report, given their track record
“They have been hired by governments across Canada, and their reports have been used to sell a number of privatization schemes. Manitobans need to know this is the firm that the PC government worked with in the ‘90s when they tried to privatize home care in Manitoba, and they helped privatize Hydro One in Ontario.”
The report, which was released on October 3, came the same day the Victoria General Hospital saw their emergency room close. About 38 MGEU/NUPGE members are being left without jobs due to the cuts. The KPMG report is being used to guide many of the changes happening in Manitoba's health care system, like at the Victoria General Hospital, but that section of the report will not be released until May 2018.
“The Minister says he’s not releasing it because it would be too confusing. How does that make sense?” Gawronsky questioned. “The only thing Manitobans are confused about is why the government is cutting their health care services when the government promised to protect and improve public services.”
The MGEU/NUPGE will continue to push the government to live up to their promise to protect and invest in public services, while at the same time ensuring the collective agreement is followed at all times, Gawronsky added.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE