The Ontario Liberals are privatizing your public transit,
but there’s still time to stop them and Keep Transit Public!

   

How is this happening?

Across Southern Ontario, Metrolinx is building much needed new transit. This is great and we applaud them.

However, what you may not know is that Metrolinx is only accepting bids from companies that can provide all the components of new transit construction and operation.

The components of the bid are: Finance, Design, Build, Operate and Maintain. (FDBOM).

Because public transit companies don’t Finance, Design or Build, they are ineligible to compete in the tendering process, and are out of the running to Operate and Maintain new transit. This effectively means that only large groups of private companies may even bid on the project. The current procurement process leaves the door open to all new transit in Ontario being entirely privatized.

However, IT’S NOT TOO LATE. If you take action now, we can pressure Metrolinx and the Provincial Liberal Government to make your public transit company the default operator and maintenance provider of any new transit projects.

What you can do:

1. Sign the Petition
Signing the petition will automatically send emails to all MPPs and confirmed candidates in Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, Hamilton, St. Catharines and the Niagara area, as well as Metrolinx, the Ministry of Transportation, Infrastructure Ontario, and Premier Wynne’s office.

2. Call your MPP
Emails are great, but phone calls carry even more weight!

CONSTITUENCY MPP PHONE
BRAMPTON
Bramalea Gore Malton Jagmeet Singh 905-799-3939
Brampton Springdale Harinder Malhi 905-495-8030
Brampton West Vic Dhillon 905-796-8669
HAMILTON
Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale Ted McMeekin 905-690-6552
Hamilton Centre Andrea Horwath 905-544-9644
Hamilton East Stoney Creek Paul Miller 905-545-0114
Hamilton Mountain Monique Taylor 905-388-9734
Niagara-West-Glanbrook Sam Oosterhoff 905-563-1755
MISSISSAUGA
Mississauga Brampton South Amrit Mangat 905-696-0367
Mississauga East-Cooksville Dipika Damerla 905-238-1751
Mississauga Erindale Harinder S. Takhar 905-897-8815
Mississauga South Charles Sousa 905-274-8228
Mississauga Streetsville Bob Delaney 905-569-1643
NIAGARA REGION
Haldimand Norfolk Toby Barrett
519-428-0446
Niagara Falls Wayne Gates 905-357-0681
Niagara West Glanbrook Sam Oosterhoff 905-563-1755
St. Catharines James J. Bradley 905-935-0018
Welland Cindy Forster 905-732-6884
Welland (Port Colborne) Cindy Forster 905-834-3629
TORONTO
Beaches East York Arthur Potts 416-690-1032
Davenport Cristina Martins 416-535-3158
Don Valley East Michael Coteau 416-494-6856
Don Valley West Kathleen O. Wynne 416-425-6777
Eglinton Lawrence Mike Colle 416-781-2395
Etobicoke Centre Yvan Baker 416-234-2800
Etobicoke Lakeshore Peter Z. Milczyn 416-259-2249
Etobicoke North Shafiq Qaadri 416-745-2859
Parkdale High Park Cheri DiNovo 416-763-5630
Pickering Scarborough East Tracy MacCharles 905-509-0336
Scarborough Agincourt Soo Wong 416-297-6568
Scarborough Centre Brad Duguid 416-615-2183
Scarborough Guildwood Mitzie Hunter 416-281-2787
Scarborough Rouge River Raymond Sung Joon Cho 416-297-5040
Scarborough Southwest Lorenzo Berardinetti 416-261-9525
St. Paul’s Eric Hoskins 416-656-0943
Toronto Centre Glen R. Murray 416-972-7683
Toronto Danforth Peter Tabuns 416-461-0223
Trinity Spadina Han Dong 416-603-9664
Willowdale David Zimmer 416-733-7878
York Centre Monte Kwinter 416-630-0080
York South Weston Laura Albanese 416-243-7984
York West Mario Sergio 416-743-7272

Sign the Petition!

Keep Transit Publically owned and operated

Dear Honourable MPPs, Madam Premier

[your signature]

1,680 signatures

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Latest Signatures
1,680 Peggy Kaplanis Markham, On Apr 25, 2018
1,679 Andrew Ioannou Manchester Apr 24, 2018
1,678 Eugenia Ioannou scarborough, ontario Apr 24, 2018
1,677 Tim Grant Toronto, Ontario Apr 23, 2018
1,676 Lanson Billiald Hamilton, Ontario Apr 23, 2018
1,675 Raafat Zamxza Kitchener Apr 23, 2018
1,674 Peter James Sparagis Scarborough, Ontario Apr 23, 2018
1,673 Gurpreet Singh Mississauga , Ontario Apr 23, 2018
1,672 Karmbir Singh Brampton, Ontario Apr 23, 2018
1,671 VIJAY HARRIPAULSINGH Whitby, ON Apr 22, 2018
1,670 Petronella Lock Brampton , Ontario Apr 21, 2018
1,669 Douglas Pentland Toronto, ON Apr 20, 2018
1,668 Ronel Marshall Toronto, Ontario Apr 20, 2018
1,667 Karen Calero Toronto, ON Apr 20, 2018
1,666 Joshua Stanyar Toronto, Ontario Apr 20, 2018
1,665 Carlos Cordeiro Mississauga, ON Apr 20, 2018
1,664 Lynda Adiele Etobicoke, On Apr 20, 2018
1,663 Navpreet Sandhu Brampton, ON Apr 20, 2018
1,662 Rajni Singh Caledon , ON Apr 20, 2018
1,661 Devon Fenton Toronto, Ontario Apr 20, 2018
1,660 Faisal Hassan Toronto, Ontario Apr 20, 2018
1,659 Michael Uttley Toronto, Ontario Apr 19, 2018
1,658 Renee Quesnel Toronto, On Apr 19, 2018
1,657 Carmela Galluzzo Stouffville Apr 16, 2018
1,656 lauren gewurz toronto Apr 16, 2018
1,655 Eli Mckhool Toronto, ON Apr 16, 2018
1,654 aava avavvsv scarborough Apr 16, 2018
1,653 Giancarlo Curcio Bradford Apr 15, 2018
1,652 Lino Moniz ajax, Ontario Apr 14, 2018
1,651 Adam Laughton Mississauga, Ontario Apr 14, 2018
1,650 Jean Bolton King City, On Apr 13, 2018
1,649 Linda Naval EAST YORK, Ontario Apr 13, 2018
1,648 Calvin Boston Toronto Apr 13, 2018
1,647 Geoff Leonard Scarborough, ON Apr 13, 2018
1,646 Milan Leite-Dao Mississauga, Ontario Apr 13, 2018
1,645 anna leite mississauga, ontario Apr 13, 2018
1,644 Max Stern Toronto Apr 13, 2018
1,643 Jenn Brito Oshawa Apr 13, 2018
1,642 Cheryl McFaul Whitby Apr 13, 2018
1,641 Ashif Kassam Pickering Apr 12, 2018
1,640 Carroll Barrett Newmarket Apr 12, 2018
1,639 Davy Colquhoun Toronto Apr 12, 2018
1,638 Dominique Boucher Toronto Apr 12, 2018
1,637 Tim Cain Scarborough Apr 12, 2018
1,636 Hugh Powell Toronto Apr 12, 2018
1,635 Mike Camara Toronto Apr 12, 2018
1,634 Jerry Guil Maple Apr 12, 2018
1,633 Ryan Khan Toronto Apr 12, 2018
1,632 Yong Hong Toronto Apr 12, 2018
1,631 Vykunlthanatha Subramaneem Toronto Apr 12, 2018

 

Quick Facts:
What you Need to Know

What:

Kathleen Wynne’s provincial Liberal government is privatizing your public transit. If you don’t act now, all new transit in Ontario will be built with Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) with a private company operating and maintaining your transit.

We all know how the privatization of Hydro went. Higher rates and we’re still holding the bag with the debt. Let’s not make the same mistake again.

And we have transit-specific examples from across Canada and around the world. It's consistently a bad deal for riders, a bad deal for municipalities, and a bad deal for workers.

How:

How did we get here? An ideology of selling public assets for short term gain, leaving the public with a legacy of pain.

Metrolinx, the provincial arm’s length transit planning organization, is only accepting bids from companies that can supply ALL components of the new transit builds.

The components of a bid are: Finance, Design, Build, Operate and Maintain. (FDBOM)

Because public transit companies don't Finance, Design or Build, they are ineligible to compete in the tendering process, and are out of the running to Operate and Maintain these projects. This effectively means that only large consortia of private companies may even bid on the project. The current procurement process leaves the door open to all new transit being entirely privatized.

Why:

Why have more than one transit operator in your city? That doesn’t make any sense.

Public infrastructure is big money. Privatizing transit infrastructure is a shell game, allowing governments to keep debt off the books, but taxpayers end up paying anyway. At a time of record low interest rates, no private company will be able to borrow at the same rates as the government and we will all have to pay those higher rates in our taxes and our transit fares for decades to come.

The proof is in the pudding. Take a look at the London Underground and British Rail privatization train wreck. The infrastructure was privatized and it was such a failure that the government had to bail them out and take it over again.

When:

When Metrolinx builds a new transit project, they first release a Request for Qualifications, in which interested companies put their names in the hat. Metrolinx reviews these applicants for their qualifications and then releases a shortlist of companies that are allowed to bid.

Next, Metrolinx will put out a formal Request for Proposals to the shortlisted companies.

The issue is that any interested party has to commit to financing, designing, building, operating, and maintaining the project. Your local transit agency isn’t in much of a position to be able to finance, design or build such a project, but should be in the running to operate and maintain it. This is would be a step towards to keeping this new transit project publically owned and operated.

However, it’s not too late. Metrolinx's procurement policy is driven by privatization ideology fed down the chain from the provincial Liberal government. In many cases, it's not too late.

In Hamilton, our campaign drew over 6000 signatures to our petition, calling on Hamiton City Council to request that the local transit company, HSR, operate and maintain the new LRT line. Flooded with calls and emails, council votes 10-2 in favour of our motion!

It's never too late to demand quality public services.

Let’s keep our transit jobs local. Let’s keep transit owned by all of us and not by private companies.

Who:

How Metrolinx decides who gets to operate and maintain transit will affect everyone living in the GTHA and Niagara regions. If the public raises its voice demanding that transit operation and maintenance be publicly owned, it can happen. If awareness remains low, it’s possible that the Liberal government will award your transit to an international private company driven by a profit motive.

Where:

Transit privatization is happening all over Ontario with almost no awareness in the general public.

With your help, we can stop the privatization train wreck.

Campaign FAQ

Why is the operation and maintenance of new transit up for bidding?

The Provincial Liberal Government, through its transit agency, Metrolinx, has decided that it doesn’t want the people of Ontario to operate and maintain their new transit. Instead, it would rather ask big private companies to come in and run the core of your city's transit system. They hope that private companies from elsewhere will be able to understand the transit needs of your city better than the people who have operated transit there for decades and longer.

What is a Public-Private Partnership (P3)?

P3s come in many forms, but put simply, they are deals where the government signs a contract with a private company or consortium to build and operate a piece of infrastructure or a service on the government’s behalf. In exchange, the government promises them a healthy guaranteed profit over the decades to follow.

Why is our transit even being considered for privatization? Isn’t transit a public service?

The great promise of public-private partnerships is reduced risk, because the private partner promises to deliver the project for a fixed price and to pay penalties if they fall behind schedule. It sounds great in theory. In practice, when private projects’ costs increase, the private partners often simply walk away if they aren’t going to make any money on the deal anymore.

That’s exactly what happened with the London Underground P3. Then the public is left to clean up the mess. Likewise, even though they may promise to pay penalties if they’re late, when the time comes they will threaten to walk away from these deals and throw the project into chaos if the government forces them to actually pay them. These companies spend millions on lawyers who know exactly how to draw up a contract that’s “heads we win, tails you lose.” Look at the TTC, which is finding it impossible to cancel its contract for streetcars with Bombardier even though the deliveries are years late.

 

What has happened when transit has been privatized in other areas?

The British government decided to privatize its rail infrastructure and the result was a disaster. The privatized infrastructure company, Railtrack, cut back dramatically on maintenance to keep its profits flowing. The number of delays and accidents soared.

Eventually, the problems got so bad that they went bankrupt and the government was forced to renationalize the system. In London, the government signed a deal with two private consortia to modernize their subway, the historic London Underground.

The private companies promised a fantastic deal in their bids, but unsurprisingly they couldn’t keep their promises. As the companies realized that they weren’t going to make any money because they had under-bid and they experienced delays and cost overruns, they just walked away.

Once again, the public was left to pick up the pieces.

When everything goes great, private companies will still demand a healthy profit that comes out of taxpayers’ or riders’ pockets. When things go badly, the private companies walk away and leave the public holding the bag.

Does service improve?

Privatization does nothing to improve service. In fact, the private partner may have a strong incentive to cut back on service levels in order to increase its profits. Worse, if the city decides that it wants to improve transit service in the future, it could require renegotiating the contract. In that case, the private partner will no doubt demand a hefty subsidy.

Keeping transit public, by contrast, means that service levels are entirely up to the community and not a private company.

Does it result in better jobs?

Private transit operators consistently have higher worker turnover than public agencies. This means that workers can’t build up the skill and experience they acquire over a long career, making transit less efficient and less safe.

Is it safer?

When Britain privatized its rail infrastructure, its accident rates soared. Any private company is going to be tempted to cut back on maintenance to maintain its quarterly profits. It might not cause a problem in the short term but in the long term, it makes a transit system less safe.

Does it cost less?

In most cases, no. But even when it does, cost reductions always have to come from somewhere, whether it's skimping on maintenance, running trains less often, or paying workers less than a living wage. On top of that, private companies need to include their profits, which means an added cost that doesn't exist when transit is publicly operated. Companies often offer very low bids and promise the world to win a contract. But as soon as they run into trouble meeting their promises, they drop the contract and leave the public holding the bag.

The auditor general has said that paying a private consortium to borrow money rather than borrowing it directly has cost the Waterloo Region LRT, which is the prototype for others in the area, an extra $48 million.

You’re just a union worried about losing members, right?

We are transit workers because we believe in the service we provide to citizens. At the heart of it, we benefit when transit service is good for riders. When the frequency of trains gets cut, when safety is compromised, and when the transit agency can't retain its most experienced operators, riders suffer just as much as workers.

We are also concerned about protecting good, living-wage paying jobs in our city. When a private company comes in, they automatically try to cut wages and benefits in order to make a profit.

We believe that everyone in Ontario deserves the opportunity to earn a living wage and provide for their families.

What can I do to help?

Join the movement to Keep Transit Public!

In Hamilton, our campaign gathered over 6000 signatures for our petition. We flooded Hamilton City Councillors with emails and phone calls and the pressure worked. In August, Council passed a motion demanding that Hamilton's new LRT line be run by its existing transit company, the HSR.

The battle isn't over yet. Metrolinx and the province have yet to respond and are months late putting an RFP out.

It's clear we're having an impact.

Now we expand the fight to Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, St. Catharines and the Niagara Region - all areas with Metrolinx transit projects in various states of progress.

Sign the petition, join us on social media, and join us out in the streets, talking to the public about why we should Keep Transit Public.