HALIFAX – With lots of leaves still on the ground in Halifax and snow in the forecast, the union representing municipal outside workers is concerned about cuts to the city’s leaf collection program.
CUPE Local 108 President Mark Cunningham says, “The potential for flooding during a rain storm becomes very real when those leaves freeze up and storm drains are blocked.
“We really only have a very short window of opportunity between when the leaves fall and when the snow comes, to get those large piles of leaves collected and those storm drains cleared,” he says.
Cunningham says outside workers started to be concerned when they were told how little time would be dedicated towards the program. “This service used to be a 24/7 operation for at least a couple of weeks prior to winter. Now Halifax is only providing the service 16 hours a day and only 5 days a week.
“Why the change” asks Cunningham. “Do we have fewer leaves falling from trees this year?” He says when you add into the equation the over 60 vacant staff positions that CAO Richard Butts refuses to fill, this becomes a serious problem for taxpayers in this city.
The union is asking residents to contact their member of Halifax Council and ask them why they’re no longer receiving the same quality of service as in past years, especially when there is a very real risk of major flooding.