(VANCOUVER) – Canada’s largest union is meeting in Vancouver this week to map out a plan of action to protect Canada’s towns and cities from the ravages of globalization.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees is holding its 20th biennial national convention from November 19 to 23 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
More than 2,000 delegates from across Canada will debate policy, elect their national leaders and send a strong message to employers and governments about the future of our communities.
“Quality public services are the heart and soul of strong, healthy communities,” says CUPE National President Judy Darcy. “We need a major investment to replace crumbling infrastructure and strengthen vital public services – and to make that investment municipalities need more power and more money.
“Privatization isn’t the answer,” says Darcy. “On the contrary, it increases costs and reduces services – and it hands over control of key local services to multinational corporations that local citizens can’t hold to account.”
CUPE is calling for a wide range of reforms that would strengthen democratic control of public services at the local level and ensure municipalities, school boards and regional health authorities have the powers and revenue they need to assure quality services.
“We also need to pay special attention to the fact that our communities are increasingly diverse. When we rely on the private sector to deliver vital services, we find that new Canadians, Aboriginal communities, women and youth are often left out, unable to afford or access these services,” says Darcy.
In addition to discussing the future of our cities, convention delegates will debate new policies on health and safety, union education and international solidarity.
Convention starts Monday 19 November at 10:00 a.m. A full listing of convention activities can be found at cupe.ca. The Media Centre is located in Room 13 on the mezzanine level.
CUPE represents a half-million members in health care, education, municipalities, social services, libraries, utilities, transportation, airlines and emergency services.