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Hamilton – “Before the city decides to get out of the business of operating ski and golf facilities, it should commit to running and marketing Chedoke Ski Hill and two city-owned golf courses like a real business,” urges Gus Oliveira, the president of Local 5167 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Oliveira says it is “sheer folly” for council to consider handing over the now public facilities to the Hamilton Conservation Authority because the recreation operations can make money if a proper long-term business and marketing strategy is developed.

“The city’s staff bureaucracy has purposely made sure the ski and golf operations open late, close early, and never upgrade facilities or offer local skiers and golfers incentives to join. Seemingly, for years their goal has been to run the operations into the ground in order to set the stage for the complete sell-off of the facilities.

The report says “that in the event that the Hamilton Conservation Authority is unable to operate the Chedoke Winter Sports Park for the 2003/2004 season, staff be directed not to open and operate the Ski Hill facility for the 2003/2004 season.”

The Hamilton Conservation Authority has proposed a major revamping of the operations to make them more appealing to users. But the authority also plans to recoup the upgrading costs in higher user fees, and by adding new attractions.

“What this means is that community groups, and children from low and moderate-income families, may not have access to these public facilities because of prohibitive fees,” says Oliveira who is encouraging Hamilton residents to tell council members voting this Wednesday on the Conservation Authority proposal, “to maintain the recreation facilities as city-owned and run facilities.”


For more information, please contact:

Gus Oliveira President, CUPE Local 5167 (905) 517-4105
Stella Yeadon CUPE Communications (416) 578-8774