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Elliot Lake, Ont. – Drastic cuts to be considered by Elliot Lake City Council in the upcoming municipal budget will harm public services and lower the quality of life in Elliot Lake, warns Local 170 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

The size of tax and revenue reductions being contemplated by Mayor Rick Hamilton and municipal councillors will reduce services to the point where our quality of life will be affected,” said Don Gillis, president of CUPE 170. “Residents understand the public services they enjoy are made possible by the taxes they pay – you can’t cut revenues without cutting services.”

It’s particularly galling for them to cut back services when the City of Elliot Lake and politicians spent years enticing retirees from across the province to settle in this community, with the promise of superior public services and amenities,” said CUPE national representative Rick Alexander. “Now that people have settled here, local politicians are cutting their services and looking at charging more for anything from swimming pool time to garbage pick-up for businesses – it will definitely hurt Elliot Lake in the long run.”

The cuts would reduce roads maintenance, cut swimming pool hours and raise user fees, reduce snow removal services, cut airport maintenance, cut parks and recreation services and increase fees for commercial garbage removal.

Cutting back or charging more for local businesses to have their garbage hauled away will lead to more problems with rats and black bears,” said Alexander. “One of our public beaches has already been closed and now they’re looking at cutting pool hours – it’s time for residents to say enough is enough, and demand local politicians invest in our community, instead of dismantling services.”

CUPE is reaching out to seniors’ groups, community supporters and residents to warn about the cuts and convince elected representatives to stop the cuts.

Our members take pride in the services we provide to Elliot Lake residents,” said Gillis. “We are defending public services and fighting to preserve the quality of life we all enjoy in Elliot Lake.”

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For further information, please contact:

Don Gillis, CUPE 170 president  705-849-8284
Rick Alexander, CUPE national representative  705-949-6221, 705-943-5515 (cell)
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE communications 416-292-3999