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Sudbury Last night, the municipal axe fell on many municipal services, including curbside snow removal on all residential streets, two arenas, pools, a ski hill and a library, as council voted to eliminate even more from a budget that will see millions of dollars in community services cut.

“When municipalities like Sudbury tie themselves up in knots and spend hours seriously considering whether to cut Sunday library services that would hurt children who don’t have access to computers for school projects, you know, that something is seriously wrong with the priorities of the provincial government,” said Sid Ryan, the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) at a media conference in Sudbury today.

Ryan was joined at the media conference by CUPE 4705 president Wyman MacKinnon and municipal services workers, where they delivered the message to council that unionized city staff would be prepared to “work in co-operation with council and staff to undergo a process of review to find cost savings, provided city workers’ jobs are protected, important local services are retained and there is a significant change in the corporate mindset of senior management,” said MacKinnon.

Last night, Ryan and MacKinnon watched as councillors cherry picked through a menu of cuts, reduced services and new user fees in next year’s budget.

“Across the province, municipalities are going through the same agonizing, hand-wringing process because the Ontario Tories are short-changing local governments, by underfunding and downloading services, leaving cities and towns unable or scrambling to provide day-to-day services for resident.

“But,” said Ryan, “council must be held to task for shutting down recreational facilities used by children, seniors and families in the community. It’s unfortunate that council is being sucked in and are losing sight of who they’re elected to represent.”

If re-elected, the Tories are promising more tax cuts. This will mean “less money in the provincial coffers and less money for municipalities. It means Sudbury council will be back next year making even more cuts that will hurt the community,” says Ryan, who points out that the Ontario NDP have put together a workable urban renewal program that includes putting money from the provincial gas tax directly into the hands of cities like Sudbury.


For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
(416) 209-0066
Wyman MacKinnon, President CUPE Local 4705
(705) 669-8526
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774