VANCOUVER - “Sleep on it.” That is the budget advice given to the City of Vancouver from its employees. City Council began its budget meeting in the morning of April 6th and debate continued until close to 5:00 a.m. the next morning.
Paul Faoro, president of CUPE 15, says that if the budget is passed in its current form, important services and critical positions will be lost. “Despite the good news spin Mayor Sullivan and his N.P.A. colleagues are trying to put on this budget, residents of Vancouver will feel the cuts. Our advice is to ‘sleep on it’ and take another look at how to save these important services.”
Faoro, who was at the council meeting until 4:00 a.m., said the range of services facing cuts is very broad. “This budget will undermine the quality of life in Vancouver. We see a $300,000 reduction in promised funding for the arts. There are cuts to development and planning services; to social services like homelessness, community outreach and the women’s task force; and to health related services such as cleaning both in City Hall and in City lodges in the downtown eastside.”
“A $400,000 funding cut for the Park Board can only have a negative impact on citizens right across the city,” says Faoro. “And given that we are a growing, multi cultural city, it is short-sighted to eliminate the multi-lingual phone lines giving access to residents who speak Punjabi, Spanish and Vietnamese.”
“With the loss of a new animal control position we are also concerned about our ability to make the city work given the increasing number of residents with animals,” said Faoro.
Faoro will be contacting other community organizations and residents in advance of the April 20th meeting where the City budget receives final approval.
For more information: Paul Faoro, President CUPE Local 15, cell: (604) 202-1829.