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Sault Ste. Marie, OntarioCanadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 67, representing 32 workers at three city-run child care centres,  is launching a week of radio ads on local stations CJQM FM (Country 104) and CHAS FM (KISS 100.5) today.

The ads, which you can listen to here, address a scheduled June 23rd City Council meeting, where the threatened closure will be considered.

“We know what closing these centres would mean to the community,” said child care worker and Local 67 group vice-president Maria Pino.  “It will throw 100 families into crisis – with waiting lists of 1000+ spots in the few other Sault Ste. Marie child care centres , there is nowhere for these kids to go. And we will lose 32 jobs in our community.  Council needs to keep the city-run centres open so we can keep providing high-quality care to children and their families.”

“Parents in this community are totally opposed to the closure of these child care centres,” said Tyler Onofrio, a father with two children at Jessie Irving. “Council promised a community consultation.  Instead, they posted a hard-to-find online survey on their website, and hosted a short-notice, afternoon meeting when most community members could not attend.  Parents really fear they are going to try and force this decision on us.”

John Sloan, president of Local 67, representing city workers, said that child care workers and parents and grandparents are standing together to ask City Councillors to keep the centres open.  “Study after study shows that this is exactly the kind of child care that helps a community thrive, both socially and economically,” Sloan said.  “Council needs to do the right thing on Monday the 23rd and commit to working with us to secure adequate funding to keep the centres open. It’s a question of political leadership.”

The ads will run June 16th through June 20th.

For more information:

Cathy Donnelly, CUPE National Representative, (705) 946-9918                                   

Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications, (416) 738-4329