----- Original Message -----
From: Sandra Finley
To: sabest1@sasktel.net
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 11:35 AM
Subject: Public-Private-Partnerships at root of corruption in Government de

Anyone with an interest in the political process, which includes every
citizen, should understand the connections between democratic Government,
protection of the Commons, Public-Private-Partnerships and corruption.

I mentioned that the (Conservative) Saskatchewan Party announced a
Department of Public-Private-Partnerships (if they are elected).  When the
leader of a political party can make the statement made by Brad Wall, leader
of the Sask Party, it is an indication to me that few people have made the
connections.  The statement SHOULD have been suicidal for anyone in
politics.  I've sent the following to all members of the Legislature.  It is
a version of information circulated to you in other emails.  (You don't have
to read it!)

For me it is actually the central issue in the current Federal Election.


SUBJECT:  Question before accepting Public-Private-Partnerships

TO:   Members of the Saskatchewan Legislature

Sandra Finley
Saskatoon, SK S7N 0L1


CBC Radio suppertime news, Monday January 9th, Brad Wall announced that the
Saskatchewan Party would replace the Department of Industry and Natural
Resources with a Department of Public- Private-Partnerships.

I would like to thank Brad for opening the question to scrutiny.

The false idea of Public-Private-Partnerships has been embraced by different
political parties:
- the Conservatives (Michael Wilson,  Federal Finance Minister in Government
of Brian Mulroney was one of the early promoters of the idea in about 1982).
- the Liberals under Jean Chretien accelerated the agenda.
- I don't know the Federal NDP position, but in Saskatchewan the NDP has in
various forms pursued "partnering".  Agwest Biotech Inc. with almost 100
percent of its operating funds coming from the Government would be an

That thing which destroys democratic functioning - corruption - which we all
abhor and which is a major issue in the current Federal Election has its
roots in Public-Private-Partnerships.  We have 25 years of experience with
the idea of Public-Private-Partnerships.  The experience substantiates what
the thinkers of our day tell us.  There is a cause-and-effect relationship
between Public-Private-Partnerships and corruption.

Corruption is necessarily part of a system where the Regulator is a
co-investor with the
Corporations-To-Be-Regulated: there is no one left to provide effective
regulation and supervision.  There is no one minding the store.

The looting that occurred with Hurricane Katrina demonstrates what happens
when no one is minding the store - people will take what they can for their
own benefit with no regard for the common or long-term good.  The failure to
protect the commons, for whatever reason, is at the root of unsustainable
practices.  Easy example:  a community that over-allocates or that allows
contamination of its water supply cannot survive in the longer term.  Robust
democracy is the guardian of the commons, in this example the water supply.

It should be no surprise then, that the Government of Canada suffers from
chronic and high-level corruption.  The corruption is predictable. Jane
Jacobs' "Systems of Survival, the Moral
Foundations of Commerce and Politics" sets forth a framework for
understanding that the system of governance will succumb to corruption if we
fail to appreciate the functional roles of two separately evolved sets of
ethics, one for the commercial function in a society and the other for
governance (guardianship).

But, "Societies need both commercial and guardian work . the two types are
prone to corruption if they stray across either their functional or moral

The formation of Public Private Partnerships is not only "straying across"
the functional barriers, it is the having of intercourse between the two.
With corruption, people of power and influence sack "the commons" at the
expense of others in the society. Democratic governance disappears. Look in
Africa - the same process is at work here in Canada.

If we don't get rid of the idea that Public-Private-Partnerships are
acceptable in democratic government, we will not be able to protect the
water supply, seeds or other components of the commons against exploitation.

Jacobs says: "The relationship between a regulator and the regulated. must
never become one in
which the regulator loses sight of the principle that it regulates only in
the public interest
and not in the interest of the regulated."

Use water as an example.  Brad sets forth the idea of a Department of Public
Private Partnerships to replace the Department of Natural Resources.  The
logical evolution is to a business partnership with Government for our water
resource.  Who will look after the interest of citizens?  Selling water is
to abandon our water supply to corporate and "power" interests. The
entrenchment of the Public Private Partnership system of governance in
Canada ensures that it can be no other way. Oil and gas reserves, forests,
and other natural resources - water is but another resource to be exploited.
And believe me there are many people who see the dollar signs flickering
before their eyes - the "blue gold".

No one has a "stake" in "the commons", in this example, in the water
supply - it belongs to us all and to other life forms. In a democracy it is
specifically the role of Government to protect the components of the
commons.  It's not up for sale or exploitation.  (And by the way, PPP's are
also known as "Picking Public Pockets".)

We have high levels of chronic corruption in Canadian Government, most
apparent at the Federal level and don't forget the Saskatchewan Govt of
Grant Devine.  But "corruption" is NOT the issue; it is an EFFECT, a
SYMPTOM, or RESULT -- not a CAUSE.  Corruption is the consequence of the
failure to keep the commercial and governing functions in the society
separated.  Public-Private-Partnerships ("P3's or PPP's) are the problem.
The corruption is EXTREMELY predictable if you understand the dynamics of

If the CAUSE of the corruption is not understood and addressed, we do not
stand a chance of protecting the commons upon which we are all dependent.
Think of the water supply or think of a parallel example:  the ownership of
seeds which are also part of the commons.  When Government forms
partnerships with corporations to "develop" seed stocks, there is no one
left to regulate.  The corporation appropriates for itself the commons
(ownership of seeds) which rightfully belong to all people and creatures.

We have Justice Krever, Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada,
"Industry can't be regulated by government - and for environmental and
reasons they must be - if that government is in bed with them."

Mae-Wan Ho, Genetic engineering - Dream or Nightmare?, 1998
"To reassure us, they lie to us, and then treat us as idiots by insisting on
things we all know are untrue. Not only does this prevent a reasonable
debate from taking place, but it also creates a very unhealthy relationship
between citizens and their elected representatives."

John Ralston Saul, "Health Care at the End of the Twentieth Century", 1999
"The Panel identified. serious concerns about the undermining of the
scientific basis for risk regulation in Canada due to. the conflict of
interest created by giving to regulatory agencies the mandates both to
promote the development of agricultural technologies and to regulate it."

From John Kenneth Galbraith's "The Economics of Innocent Fraud - Truth for
our Time", published in 2004 : "... As the corporate interest moves to power
in what was the public sector, it serves, predictably, the corporate
interest. That is its purpose. ...One obvious result has been well-justified
doubt as to the quality of much present regulatory effort. There is no
question but that corporate influence extends to the regulators. . Needed is
independent, honest, professionally competent regulation ... This last must
be recognized and countered. There is no alternative to effective
supervision. "

So:  our experience and the thinkers of the day tell us = the same thing: the
corruption and break-down of the rule of law in Canada have their roots in
"public-private-partnerships". The most egregious examples are in the area
of biotechnology where the Governments have taken to bed the most corrupt
and corrupting of partners - the chemical/pharmaceutical/biotech complex of
companies. (Monsanto fined $700 million in Alabama, Dow Chemical fined $1
million by the Attorney General of New York State, Monsanto found guilty of
bribery in Indonesia, Monsanto and attempted bribery over Bovine Growth
Hormone in Canada, Senate Hearing, Bill Moyers' documentary on PBS, "Trade
Secrets", Interveners on the side of Monsanto in the Schmeiser case are
BioTec Canada and AgWest Biotech, both are "Government fronts" (publicly
funded organizations but their name doesn't tell you that), the infamous
"IBT Laboratories" scandal in the 1980's that involved the chemical and
pharmaceutical companies, etc. etc.)

With public-private-partnerships we have strayed very far down a bad road.
You create the conditions for tensions in the society, for anger, for
citizen non-compliance with law and regulations, and in the end for
resistance if influential interests in the society are allowed to enrich
themselves at the expense of others and future generations.

When you work on sustainability issues (sustainable water supplies, etc.)
you come to realize that robust democracy is a necessary pillar of
sustainability.  The function of Government in a democracy is to defend "the
commons" against those who would appropriate it for their own benefit.  The
commons are necessary for the survival of everyone.   If you don't have
strong democratic Government that protects, regulates and supervises the use
of the commons (air, water, soil, seeds, public money, knowledge),  if you
don't have someone "minding the store", you gradually fall into corruption
and chaos.

IF Government does not get back to its job of regulating, supervision and
protection;  if public-private-partnerships are not outlawed, corruption
MUST continue to escalate because of the cause and effect relationship.

Thank you Brad for opening the subject to discussion.

Yours truly,
Sandra Finley
Saskatoon, SK S7N 0L1

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