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(Kingston) The City of Kingstons plans to sell off its garbage collection to a private company is about to become very public.

A group calling itself the Kingston Coalition Against Privatization (CAP for short) has been formed to fight the privatization scheme, which it says has had virtually no public debate, and is being rammed through by council just weeks before a municipal election.

The community-labour coalition will be launching a public information campaign including flyers to every household in Kingston, radio and newspaper ads, public meetings, campaign stickers, posters and more. The Coalition is a grouping of community organizations working together with CUPE Local 109, the union representing municipal workers.

Coalition Co-Chair Cheryl McArthur says, Theres something very smelly about this plan, and were going to be telling our elected officials they should not be giving our tax money away to private corporations.

David McDonald, a community representative, is concerned about the way that the privatisation process have evolved. This scheme seems to have come out of thin air, and was prompted by a highly suspect promise of huge savings from a private company with no experience in residential garbage collection and with no explanation of how they expect to cut costs.

Experience in other Ontario cities shows that these companies typically come in with whats known as a low-ball offer, and politicians start salivating. Once they win the contract and the City sells all of its equipment they jack up their rates in subsequent contracts and start to cut corners, adds McDonald.

Says McArthur, while garbage may be the first thing our city council is trying to get rid of, the privatizers appear to have their sights set on a whole series of public services.

CAP says the people Kingston have an opportunity to use the November 13 municipal elections to elect local representatives who are prepared to protect public services, decent jobs and a safe and healthy environment.

For information:

David McDonald
CAP Co-Chair
(613) 533-6962 (o)
Karl Flecker
CAP Co-Chair
(613) 549-1843(h)
Cheryl McArthur
CAP Co-Chair
CUPE Local 109
(613) 544-2291 (o)
John McCracken
CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 292-3999 (o)

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