Internation law firm Dentons describes itself as having leading P3 privatization scheme lawyers. It is a sponsor member of the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships. And now, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be working for them.
One of Stephen Harper’s qualifications in the eyes of Dentons is that Stephen Harper’s government “made critical investment in infrastructure.” That doesn’t sound like a problem — until you remember that Harper’s government used federal infrastructure funding to push other levels of government to use P3s.
Harper’s government set up PPP Canada, which only funds projects that use P3 privatization schemes. It also introduced a “P3 filter” for other funding that made it difficult to impossible to get federal support for larger projects if P3 privatization schemes weren’t used.
Harper only the latest politician to sign on with privatization industry firm
Firms profiting from privatization have become a lucrative source of employment for many former politicians who privatized public services during their term in office.
After leaving politics former Ontario finance minister Dwight Duncan signed on with McMillan LLP, another player in the privatization industry, and helped prepare a report calling for more privatization. Also at McMillan are two of Stephen Harper’s former cabinet ministers, Stockwell Day and John Reynolds.
Other recent examples are former Ontario premier, Dalton McGuinty, and former Minister of Economic Development, Sandra Pupatello, Both ended up getting contracts from another privatization industry player, PwC Canada.
How do post-politics jobs in privatization industry affect decision-making?
When a large number of former politicians are getting lucrative jobs with companies profiting from privatization, it is hard to believe it has no effect on decision making. Politicians making decisions about privatization schemes will be aware that aggressively opposing them will close a number of doors when they retire or are defeated. This means they may be reluctant to ask the tough questions and provide the tough scrutiny that privatization desperately needs.