Water tops services Canadians want kept in public domain
OTTAWA – Nine out of 10 Canadians want their water and sewage services kept public, according to a new poll released on the eve of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) annual conference in Montreal.
“Canadians want local public services kept in public hands, controlled by democratically elected governments, not run by private companies,” said Paul Moist, national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). “This should encourage all politicians at the FCM meeting to keep water public and tell water profiteers to back off.”
The poll found that 93 per cent of Canadians want water services to remain public. The poll also found that Canadians want the following services kept in public hands: street and bridge maintenance (87 per cent), libraries operation (85 per cent), public transit operation (84 per cent), park and rink maintenance (83 per cent), and garbage collection (82 per cent).
Also, about 63 per cent of Canadians want municipalities to get the full share of the federal gas tax now, not three years from now, as currently scheduled, according to the poll.
Eighty-five per cent said it was important that cities use the money to provide public services directly rather than handing it over to private, for-profit companies and contractors.
The poll was conducted by Vector Research and commissioned by public and private sector unions. Its margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
The FCM meets in Montreal June 2-5. Paul Moist and CUPE Secretary-Treasurer Claude Généreux will be attending and available for comment.
Paul Moist, National President, cell (613) 558-2873
Claude Généreux, National Secretary-Treasurer (porte-parole francophone), cell (514) 884-5074
David Robbins CUPE Communications, cell (613) 878-1431