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PRINCE GEORGECity employees in Prince George are expressing concern and recommending caution to city councillors after last night’s agreement in principle by City Council to accept five recommendations aimed at rearranging the way Prince George does business.

“Council’s vote last night could see hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on “strategies” and “communications plans but not one cent on concrete actions that would improve eroding public infrastructure, issues that are among the stated priorities of citizens and tax payers ” said Leann Dawson, CUPE national representative.”

Dawson is cautioning councillors who are concerned with all Prince George citizens, not just its corporate citizens, to pay heed to the fact that the out-of-province consultants who developed these recommendations on behalf of the city council-appointed but business-controlled Service Delivery to Business Customers Task Force, did not feel any compulsion to talk to the public or to front-line city workers.

“In their zeal to present a case that would benefit business though not necessarily ordinary citizens, these consultants, under the direction of the task force did not even bother consulting with ordinary people.”

Some members of city council voted in favour of the agreement in principle based on assurances that public and employee consultation would become part of the process but no specific amendments were agreed to, and the city manager was given the go-ahead to proceed.

“If councillors concerns are to be taken seriously then those concerns should be formally reflected in any authority to proceed.”

CUPE will present its own investigative findings in a report to both the public and to city council in the coming weeks. City staff, inside and outside workers, have requested time at the next council meeting scheduled for Monday August 25, 2003.


Information: Leann Dawson (250) 612-7516, CUPE national representative