Marina privatization a bad move

Re: Major marina upgrades planned, May 31.

To the Editor,

Re: Major marina upgrades planned, May 31.

The Nanaimo Port Authority is giving a 30-year lease on the city’s marina to a private developer, Pacific Northwest Marina Group.

Or to something called Marker Group –  partners in the Marina Group with Marinaco Holdings ULC, led by American businessman Craig McCaw.

Is that clear? Who will be accountable for their performance in the contract?

The plan is to focus on recreational boaters rather than the port’s original use as a dock for commercial fisherman (and recreational boaters).

Marina Group is optimistic because 31 vessels costing more than $100,000 each have been sold in B.C. since January.  The refocus appears to be on high-end recreational boaters. Sort of the one per cent of boaters.

The port is a publicly owned facility. It is to be contracted out to a private enterprise for the next 30 years.

The same way our hospital’s formerly publicly operated cleaning and technical services were contracted out. And the food services.

The same way the operation of provincial parks was contracted out. And the previously public parking was turned over for the profit of a private company.

Also sort of like the way B.C. Ferries became what’s referred to as a “quasi-private” operation, whatever that is.  Private profit – public liability?

And how is all this privatization working out for us?

Is the hospital cleaner? Are the parks more accessible? Parking more available? Ferry rates more affordable?

Privatization was part of the runaway era of deregulation and so-called self-regulating free markets. It led to the crash of 2008 and the greatest world financial crisis since the 1930s.

Even its high priest, Alan Greenspan, had to admit he was wrong. Why do we keep on making the same mistake?

Paul Glassen

Nanaimo

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