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The City of St. Catharines plays a leading role in serving the public interest through the creation of good green jobs that uphold our community’s quality of life.

Keeping forestry public is critical to achieving sustainable, livable, and vibrant communities with a canopy worth boasting about.

But that’s under threat with the proposal to privatize the important work that members of CUPE Local 150 do.

The reality is that private contractors lack job security, resulting in higher turnover rates and less experienced staff. In contrast, public employees are familiar with the job and invested in the community, which leads to higher-quality work.
Private contractors are motivated by profit and often raise their prices once a municipality no longer has the ability to provide the service. If they are not paid a costly retainer fee, there is also no guarantee that they will promptly respond to emergencies beyond their contracted requirements. This  will only become more important as the city is expected to respond to more powerful storms that will only grow more frequent due to climate change. In contrast, public employees are available year-round to respond to emergencies and other work as it comes up.

The reality is that privatization erodes the accountability between elected councilors and residents, endangers residents, and erodes good jobs.

St. Catharines’ forest must remain public.

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