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PEI waste management scheme should be scrapped 5

CUPE PEI has taken a strong stand against the province’s plan to privatize and centralize solid waste management.

In a lobby session CUPE and the City of Charlottetown told Technology and Environment Minister Mitch Murphy in no uncertain terms that the province’s plan will face widespread opposition, and must be abandoned.

Division president Bill McKinnon and Charlottetown Mayor George MacDonald called on Murphy to instead expand the highly successful and publicly-owned East Prince Waste Management Commission model across the province.

“The province’s plan to privatize will impose a double taxation on many Island residents. It also threatens decent, full-time jobs. And it hands a dangerous level of control to a single corporation - a body that doesn’t have to run for election and doesn’t have to disclose its books to the public eye,” said McKinnon.

CUPE represents Charlottetown municipal workers, members of CUPE Local 501, who have collected the city’s yard waste, discarded furniture and building materials for 40 years. These 30 workers stand to lose their jobs under the province’s scheme.

The City wants CUPE workers to keep their jobs. The city shares CUPE’s concern that handing control of landfill sites to the same private company that collects garbage, recycling and compost opens the door to enormous accountability and regulation problems.

McKinnon also warned the minister that CUPE will be investigating whether the province’s plans to create an Island-wide monopoly violate the Federal Competition Act.