CUPE leaders urged the people of Ottawa to consider the high costs of privatization at a press conference held today at the Jack Purcell Community Centre.
The warning comes as Ottawa City Council prepares to unveil a new budget, which will likely call for deep cuts to public services and jobs. The cutbacks would open the door for contracting out of community services, leading Ottawa down a path that other municipalities across Canada have tried – and failed.
“It’s been proven in communities across the country that privatization of services and infrastructure costs taxpayers more and delivers less,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.
CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Fred Hahn added that shedding more public services, or contracting them out to for-profit operators, is not the way to go especially given the economic downturn. “This is when people are most in need of efficient public services, when they’ve lost their jobs and need retraining, when they are stretched to the limit and need support to raise their families.”
CUPE 503 President Brian Madden worries that vital community services, such as libraries, recreation programs, and affordable housing could be on the chopping block under the new city budget. “This is not the kind of Ottawa that residents want.”
On Saturday, November 1, CUPE will host Rock for Public Services, a free concert featuring Trooper, The Cooper Brothers, and Bowser and Blue at the Ottawa Civic Centre. The concert is meant to celebrate the importance of public services in building and strengthening communities.