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CUPE will show our commitment to working with municipal leaders to build the communities we all want to live in at the 73rd Annual Conference and Municipal Expo of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) taking place May 28 to 31 in Toronto, Ontario

CUPE recognizes that municipalities are the bedrock of our daily lives. We’re all better off in cities and towns with healthy finances, strong public services and smart environmental practices. Learn about CUPE’s practical, positive municipal vision.

Public services: our economic and social foundation

High quality schools, child care, health care, libraries, transit, parks, recreation programs, affordable housing, social services and other public services attract people to neighbourhoods. These services build vibrant and healthy communities. They also help people out of poverty, providing everyone with the opportunity to learn, work and prosper.

Financing and revenue alternatives
Municipalities need stable, predictable and growing revenues to deliver on their increasing responsibilities. But compared to other countries, local governments in Canada have very limited revenue-raising powers. Although municipal governments are responsible for 58 per cent of Canada’s public infrastructure, they only collect eight per cent of total tax revenues.

Public works best for infrastructure
Despite the evidence favoring publicly financed and operated infrastructure and services, the federal government and several provinces continue to promote P3s through P3 agencies and infrastructure screening processes. CUPE offers a list of new evidence in support of public procurement and delivery.

Public works best for solid waste
Cities are keeping it public. Recently, some municipalities have brought solid waste services back in-house. Others have rejected contracting out. Canadians want to live in environmentally sustainable communities. Publicly-delivered solid waste and recycling services are the most effective way to reach the goal of “zero waste” communities.

Green jobs build sustainable communities
Cities and towns are better off with green jobs that are public. Local purchasing policies and training and employment programs for area residents stimulate municipal economies, build socially-sustainable communities and protect the planet. Municipalities can lead the way in greenhouse gas reduction and environmental protection by creating the green jobs of the future.

New trade deals undermine local power
Canadian municipalities are rapidly losing their ability to build local economies. The federal government is pursuing international and interprovincial trade deals that target municipal powers and services, without meaningfully consulting local governments. Municipal powers being eroded include the ability to promote community economic development by purchasing local goods and services and hiring local workers; policies promoting social objectives such as ethical procurement; and the ability to ensure services like wastewater treatment are provided locally.

Better pensions build strong communities
The coming crisis can be avoided. CUPE and the Canadian Labour Congress are advancing reforms that will strengthen the retirement income system. We can start to fix the crisis through a balanced approach that combines strong workplace pensions with public pension plans that cover all working people.

Live webcasts of events will be available on the FCM website including:

  • Opening Ceremony and Opening Plenary
  • Keynote address by Prime Minister Stephen Harper
  • Municipal workshops
  • Keynote address by Liberal Party Leader Michael Ignatieff
  • Plenary Address – Lessons from the New Deal: a conversation with Paul Martin and John Godfrey

About The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)
With more than 1,775 members, FCM represents the interests of municipalities on policy and program matters that fall within federal jurisdiction. Members include Canada’s largest cities, small urban and rural communities, and 18 provincial and territorial municipal associations. Municipal leaders from all parts of Canada assemble annually to establish FCM policy on key issues.