Beware the Privatization Playbook

Fish riding a bicycle



There are many, many, many examples in Canada and all around the world that show how privatization of a public service has resulted in reduced quality of services and an increased cost of that service. It’s no wonder Canadians are increasingly skeptical of privatization.

Corporations and their political allies that profit from privatization are keenly aware of that growing skepticism. So they have developed their own PRIVATIZATON PLAYBOOK to counter that skepticism.

They go at everything ‘round about. So, they do not make a direct attack on public services. Their strategy is to undermine public services, to make us lose our trust and confidence in public services to deliver all we want and pay taxes to get. Here’s how they do it.

The Privatization Playbook

1.    Give deep tax cuts to the top 1% to reduce the revenue collected by government.

2.    Use the decline in revenue as an excuse to “balance the books” by cutting funding to public services.

3.    Deeply reduced funding means the quality and accessibility of services deteriorate.

4.    The public gets frustrated and asks: “Why am I paying taxes for these sub-standard services?”

5.    CEOs and their political allies leap in to say: “Let the corporate sector deliver these services.”  

This strategy has been used to sell off public assets like electricity, to contract out services like home care, and to justify using Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) to build hospitals or highways. In every case we all get much less than we pay for.

Don’t be fooled by the privatization playbook. Just look at the track record of privatization — service cuts; higher costs; risk to public safety; loss of public control and accountability

 The Privatization Playbook






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