Edmonton The current source of revenue available to Canadian cities is simply not adequate to ensure cities like Edmonton remain healthy, economically strong communities that meet the needs of its citizens, says CUPE National President, Paul Moist.
Moist, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees is in Edmonton today to share two studies with Mayor Smith and CUPEs vision for significant re-investment in public infrastructure and public services. Both studies, one on municipal funding arrangements and one on the economic risk of public private partnerships were commissioned by CUPE over the past year.
Working closely with our members at CUPE Local 30 we are here today to work with Mayor Smith to explore new ideas and work together for the long term health of the City of Edmonton, said Moist. Accompanying him to the meeting are CUPE Local 30 president Alex Grimaldi and Dave Loken, liaison representative for the Coalition of Edmonton Civic Unions.
Both the federal and provincial governments need to look at viable methods of revenue sharing and increased grants in order to ensure we meet these needs. In CUPE we are committed to working with Mayor Smith to press both levels of government for viable change, said Moist.
Everything from road maintenance, transit, garbage collection and water and sewer treatment to emergency services, affordable housing, recreation and public libraries are essential for a healthy urban centre today. It is clear that cities need more revenue and secure access to ongoing and growing sources of revenue, to meet the demands of local residents and business. Income from property tax, user fees and parking fines will never be enough, he said.
Public services need public investment to ensure accountability and long-term affordability. Our research on alternative methods of public financing illustrates the benefits of several financing instruments such as pension funds, municipal bonds and dedicated fuel taxes. When it comes to meeting the infrastructure needs we know public private partnerships are not the answer, said Moist.
Moist is meeting with several Canadian Mayors over the coming weeks following discussions at the Big Cities Mayors conference in Toronto last week.
CUPE is Canada’s largest union with over half a million women and men who provide public services. In Alberta, CUPEs 26,000 members work in health care, municipalities, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, emergency medical services, social services and casinos. Visit our CUPE websites for more information www.cupe.ca and cupealberta.ab.ca.