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TORONTO Municipal workers from across Canada have renewed their demand that governments rebuild municipal infrastructure and services with public investment, not higher-cost private “partnerships.”

The workers, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), issued the call in Toronto this week as they met to strengthen their fight against privatization. They also strategized about increasing support for public investment in public services. Their gathering, the first of its kind for CUPE, comes on the eve of this year’s meeting of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

We are resolute in our commitment to protect public services from privatization and so-called public private partnerships, while pushing for stable, accountable public investment,” said CUPE national president Paul Moist.

Municipal workers from across the country will carry this message straight to the FCM meeting in St. John’s,” said Moist from Toronto. “They’ll also return to their communities, joining other CUPE members campaigning and organizing to strengthen the network of services that keep our cities and towns strong.”

Workers at the meeting shared insights and lessons, and put their heads together with experts on public finance, environment, social inclusion and local government. Broadening and sustaining a New Deal for cities and towns that delivers the “real deal” for communities is a top priority.

Municipal workers are on the front line in CUPE’s national effort to rebuild strong communities after years of underfunding and downloading. CUPE workers are reaching out to community organizations to form local coalitions to stave off corporate takeovers while pushing for public investment.

CUPE will be attending the annual meeting of the FCM to continue its advocacy for public investment in municipal infrastructure. Alarmed at the escalating trend of higher-cost “partnerships” and “alternative financing,” CUPE members and leaders will make their views known at Canada’s major gathering of municipal leader officials.

The FCM meets in St John’s, NFLD, from June 3 to June 6.

CUPE, Canada’s largest union, represents 540,000 women and men delivering public services in communities from coast to coast, including the majority of the country’s municipal workers.

Paul Moist, CUPE National President, cell (613) 558 2873;
David Robbins, CUPE Communications, cell (613) 878 1431;
Claude Généreux, National Secretary-Treasurer (porte-parole francophone), cell (613) 794-8395.