From April 20 to 21, over 70 activists gathered in Saskatoon to learn about the threats we face from privatization and to take action to protect public services.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative’s Simon Enoch started things off with a startling look at how much privatization has actually occurred in Saskatchewan. Since 2007 there have been over 50 occurrences of privatization, including contracting out of hospital laundry and private liquor stores and contracting out within Crown Corporations.
Tom Graham, president of CUPE Saskatchewan, spoke about the steps CUPE is taking to fight back against the threats to public services. A large focus of CUPE’s efforts centre on the Own it! campaign.
Own it! Saskatchewan belongs to everyone is a new project that will give citizens a voice in a province-wide discussion about the future of public services and Crowns. The main focus is a petition drive asking residents of Saskatchewan to take a stand against privatization.
CUPE members had the opportunity to hear firsthand from the public when they took to the streets to talk to people about the campaign. In just two short hours over 750 members of the public signed the petition.
Many members spoke about how surprised they were with how easy it was to talk to strangers about the issue of privatization. After debriefing on their canvassing experience, members broke out into regional groups to plan their activities.
Over the next several months, CUPE will continue to have conversations with our members and the public about the threats to public services.