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Toronto-Once again the Ontario Tories are pushing privatization as a quick-fix, shortsighted solution to the crisis theyve created in the delivery of public services. This government is being put on notice, CUPE members will mobilize against the Tory proposals to sell-off our public services. The Tories should have learned a lesson, when labour mobilized to fight Bill 136. We won that one. And we are prepared to fight them now , says Sid Ryan the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Walkerton has alerted Ontarians to the damage being done by the Tories ideological pursuit to privatize and decimate our public services and infrastructure. Despite what the Tories think, public sector workers wont go quietly into the night. Well make the connections for the public about how the policies of this government are killing the public services they rely on in their communities, adds Ryan.

CUPE in Ontario represents nearly 70,000 members who work in the municipal sector. They include inside and outside municipal workers, child care workers and social service workers.

Regardless of what its called, everywhere privatization has been tried, its been a bad deal for taxpayers. When Hamilton/Wentworth privatized its wastewater treatment facility, the company that won the contract Philip Utilities was responsible for spilling 180 million litres of untreated sludge into Hamilton harbour. The municipality and ultimately the taxpayer was on the hook for the millions of dollars it took to clean up the spill, says Ryan.

Municipalities across Ontario are finding that publicly operated ambulance services are cheaper and provide communities with better services than can be provided by private, for-profit companies. Durham, York, Niagara operate their services publicly because they want the best for the people in their communities, says Ryan.

Studies comparing American and Ontario ambulance services found the average cost per call was $500 in the U.S., more than twice the $200 it costs in Ontario.

For more information please contact:

Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario

(416) 209-0066

Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications

(416) 578-8774

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